J-PAL Affiliated Professor
Professor of Public Policy, Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies
Lisa Gennetian is Professor of Public Policy and the Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies at Duke University. She is a Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke. Her research spans multiple areas of US poverty issues, including income security and stability, early care and education, and children’s development. Prior to moving to academia in 2016 Lisa held positions at MDRC, the Brookings Institution, and Ideas42.
She has published numerous papers, reports, and book chapters synthesizing experimental evidence related to poverty. In 2015 Lisa launched the beELL Initiative, applying insights from behavioral economics to design strategies to support parent engagement in, and enhance the impacts of, early childhood interventions. She is a lead author of the groundbreaking J-PAL-funded Baby’s First Years study, the first study in the United States to assess the impact of poverty reduction on infant and toddlers’ cognitive, emotional, and brain development. Recently, she published a review of literature in economics, child development, and cognitive psychology on the effects of cash transfer programs on improving families' economic security and children's life outcomes; a book chapter on applying behavioral economics to scaling of early childhood interventions; and a paper on optimizing parent participation in programs implemented at scale. Lisa has also been a co-author on major reports and journal publications evaluating welfare-to-work RCTs, including the influential Minnesota Family Investment Program. She earned her PhD in economics from Cornell.
Lisa has served as a lecturer at J-PAL training events.