Colleen Chrisinger received a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2010. Her research interests are job quality and labor demand, workforce development policy and poverty prevention.
The Impacts of Workforce Development and Wage Policies on the Economic Well-Being of Low-Income Individuals and Families.
Faculty Supervisor: Robert D. Plotnick, Department of Public Affairs.
Among the primary strategies and challenges in contemporary anti-poverty policy are to establish and connect less-skilled individuals to jobs and career pathways that offer adequate initial earnings and earnings progression over time. This dissertation examines two types of policies that attempt to influence labor market outcomes and promote economic well-being in the United States. The first of these is the workforce development system that provides job training and placement services. The second is wage regulation in the form of minimum and living wage laws. Two essays in this dissertation measure the impacts of job training on earnings progression among adults in Washington State. Using regression-adjusted difference-in-difference and propensity score matching methods on combined administrative data from the Unemployment Insurance and workforce investment systems, this research compares earnings progression among participants and non-participants during the years 2002 to 2008. It also compares earnings across economic sectors to assess the promise of targeted industries (health care, construction, manufacturing, automotive service) relative to other industries. The third essay turns to the association of living and minimum wage laws with the payment of child support by noncustodial parents. It uses data from the Current Population Survey and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study in order to measure the role of job quality in the success of family support arrangements.
Assistant Professor, University of Oregon, Department of Planning, Public Policy & Management