Prof. Vartanian’s current research examines the relationship between neighborhood characteristics, food outlets, food stamp receipt, and healthy weight. He uses longitudinal data to examine the outcomes, with sibling fixed effect models. His findings indicate that childhood time spent on food stamps increases time with healthy weight as an adult relative to those who with low incomes (and presumably food stamp eligible) but who do not receive food stamps as a child. He has also examined how growing up in poor neighborhoods affect adult health, government cash assistance, length of stay below the poverty level, and economic levels after leaving welfare. Other recent work includes examining how parents who take parental leave fare in health, wage, and other outcomes. His work has appeared in such journals as the American Journal of Political Science, Demography, Social Service Review, & Journal of Marriage and Family. He has been cited/quoted on CNN, Forbes, Salon, and the Chicago Tribune. He has received grants from the IRP at the University of Wisconsin, the Joint Poverty Center at the University of Chicago/Northwestern University, the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies at Purdue University, and the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Research and Scholarly Interests: Neighborhoods, Food Stamp/SNAP, welfare and employment; poverty among the elderly, children and single mothers, parental leave policies.
Substantive Specialization: Neighborhood studies, Health Urban economics, Economics of welfare, Statistics and econometrics.