About Maria Cancian

Economics, Public Policy

Maria Cancian’s research considers the relationship between public policy and family well-being from both sides: how policies shape families’ choices and outcomes, as well as how family change affects public policy. Her recent work analyzes the interactions of the incarceration, child welfare, and child support systems. Cancian has advised agencies at all levels of government on policy initiatives that help low-income and otherwise vulnerable families, including serving in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under then-President Obama.

Professional positions
  • 2019–present: Dean, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
  • 1993–2019: Assistant (1993–1999), associate (1999–2003), and full (2003–2019) professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Notable publications
  • Cancian, Maria, Molly A. Costanzo, and Daniel R. Meyer. 2023. “A research note on trends in the stock and flow of child support agreements.” Demography 60(6): 1711–1720.
  • Cancian, Maria, Daniel R. Meyer, and Robert G. Wood. 2022. “Do carrots work better than sticks? Results from the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 41(2): 552–578.
  • Cancian, Maria. 2021. “APPAM presidential address: Reflections on who counts and why it matters.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 40(2): 324–347.
  • Font, Sarah A., Lawrence M. Berger, Maria Cancian, and Jennifer L. Noyes. 2018. “Permanency and the educational and economic attainment of former foster children in early adulthood.” American Sociological Review 83(4): 716–743.
  • PhD, economics, University of Michigan
  • MA, economics, University of Michigan
  • BA, political science and sociology, Swarthmore College

Induction Remarks

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