Jim Sullivan

Economics

Phone
574-631-7587
Email
sullivan.197@nd.edu
Website

Gilbert F. Schaefer College Professor of Economics

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  • Evidence/Evidence-Based Policy
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Sullivan’s Latest News

Sullivan in the News

As community college students return to class, let's help them graduate

James Sullivan is the co-founder and director of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), a Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, and an affiliated researcher of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

On welfare reform’s 25th anniversary, how are single-mom families faring?

While some research suggests a decline in families’ circumstances since the government’s welfare reform emphasized work and education over unconditional aid, study authors Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago, Jeehoon Han from Zhejiang University in China and James X. Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame believe that largely stems from under-reporting of the assistance single mothers receive.

The U.S. Is Winning the War on Poverty

The chart below, based on an analysis by Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame, shows no lasting progress in the official measure of poverty, but a rapid decline in two alternative measures.

Poverty in the U.S. rose last year amid COVID pandemic says Census Bureau

If not for government intervention, poverty would have been much higher, according to an analysis of real-time poverty data by James Sullivan at the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Economics and Bruce Meyer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Poverty fell overall in 2020 as result of massive stimulus checks and unemployment aid, Census Bureau says

“The federal government responded quickly and significantly. And it’s very clear that those efforts prevented a sharp rise in poverty,” said James Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame. 

Poverty rose in 2020 amid pandemic even as stimulus payments helped some 11.7 million Americans avoid it

The stimulus payments, meanwhile, helped keep a wide range of Americans out of poverty because they were sent to a broad group of people, said Jim Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame, who has tracked the effect of government aid on poverty rates throughout the pandemic.

Pandemic Stimulus Checks Softened the Blow of Rising US Poverty Rates

Despite the increase in poverty, rates would have been much higher without intervention from the government, according to an analysis of data by James Sullivan at the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Economics and Bruce Meyer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, as reported by Bloomberg.

USDA report shows pandemic relief helped hungry families

So the USDA report is good news, said Jim Sullivan, an economics professor at Notre Dame. 

Why the US is launching a $300 monthly child benefit

James Sullivan, economics professor at the University of Notre Dame, said that families near the poverty line could see their income increase by more than 25% in the second half of the year.

Parents are gearing up to spend big on back-to-school stuff, boosted by pandemic savings and the new child tax credit payments

"It's a good thing for Walmart and grocery stores," Jim Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame, told CNBC. "The retail sectors where middle- and lower-income families spend money are likely to benefit some from this."

Child tax credit payments could act as stimulus for retailers as soon as this month

“It’s a good thing for Walmart and grocery stores,” said Jim Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame who is studying the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Americans living in poverty.

Hunger rates plummet after two rounds of stimulus

One of the most striking things that’s come from having all this near real time data, according to Jim Sullivan, an economist at the University of Notre Dame, is seeing just how much of an effect government aid had on reducing poverty.

Jobless claims hit new pandemic low for third straight week, as labor market picks up

Meanwhile, poverty rose to 11.7 percent in March, the highest level of the pandemic, according to research from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame, as Americans awaited the next round of stimulus relief. 

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women varies by race and ethnicity, according to a new analysis

Research from University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame also shows that the poverty rate reached its highest rate so far during the pandemic in March, from 10.3% in March 2020 to 11.7% in March 2021.

547,000 Americans filed jobless claims, a new pandemic low

Poverty rose to 11.7 percent in March, its highest level of the pandemic, according to research from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame, as Americans awaited the next round of stimulus relief.

One chart shows how pandemic poverty reached a new high in March

Throughout the pandemic, researchers from Zhejiang University, University of Chicago, and the University of Notre Dame have tracked US poverty rates.

Poverty rate rose to pandemic high ahead of new stimulus

“The March 2021 estimates indicate that without additional aid many in the U.S. continued to suffer from the economic impacts from Covid-19, according to research released Tuesday by economists Jeehoon Han, from Zhejiang University, Bruce Meyer, from the University of Chicago, and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame. The projections didn’t capture benefits provided by the American Rescue Plan signed last month.”

Poverty soared to a pandemic high last month

James Sullivan, an economics professor and director of the Lab for Economic Opportunities at the University of Notre Dame and one of the research authors, said this was almost certainly a function of the combination of $1,200 stimulus payments that were distributed to most Americans, expanded unemployment benefits including benefits for gig and self-employed workers, and an extra $600 weekly benefit on top of existing state benefits.

U.S. Poverty Rate Rose to Pandemic High Ahead of New Stimulus

The March 2021 estimates indicate that without additional aid many in the U.S. continued to suffer from the economic impacts from Covid-19, according to research released Tuesday by economists Jeehoon Han, from Zhejiang University, Bruce Meyer, from the University of Chicago, and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame.

Despite falling unemployment, America’s poverty rate just reached the highest level since the pandemic began

Since spring of 2020, real-time poverty data in the U.S. has been tracked every month by economists Bruce Meyer, from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Economics and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities.

How recipients will spend COVID relief payments depends on their income

The pandemic has affected Americans in different income brackets differently: People who worked low-wage service jobs before the pandemic are most likely to be in serious financial distress now, said Notre Dame economist James Sullivan.

US poverty is still high, but stimulus is stopping it from getting worse

The $600 stimulus checks and $300 weekly boost to unemployment benefits contained in Congress' December assistance package stemmed the rise in poverty in the second half of last year, according to researchers at the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Zhejiang University.

Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus could drastically cut poverty, studies say

Those drops aren't unexpected. Throughout America's pandemic year, poverty has fallen with each new stimulus package and increased unemployment benefits, according to research from economists at University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, and Zhejiang University.

Warren Buffett Becomes Sixth Member of $100 Billion Club

Meanwhile, more than 8 million Americans -- including many children -- fell into poverty in the second half of last year, according to an analysis by University of Chicago economist Bruce Meyer, University of Notre Dame’s James Sullivan and Zhejiang University’s Jeehoon Han.

What's in Joe Biden's stimulus plan?

Data in the months since has shown poverty creeping back up, hitting 11.3 percent in January, according to the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.

Senate Passes Next Stimulus Package, Inching It Closer To Becoming Law

A December study by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities found that nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the start of the pandemic.

House Passes $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package—Now It’s Up To The Senate

A December study by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities found that nearly 8 million Americans had fallen into poverty since the start of the pandemic.

Stimulus measures helped lift 1.6 million Americans out of poverty

"That's a pretty big move over the course of one month," University of Notre Dame's James Sullivan and one of the authors of the study told Yahoo Money. 

COVID-19 economic relief should focus on those hit hardest

James X. Sullivan is the Gilbert F. Schaefer College Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame.

A Year of Hardship, Helped and Hindered by Washington

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Notre Dame found there were five million fewer poor people in June than before the crisis.

U.S. Child-Poverty Crisis Spurs Stepped-Up Efforts in Congress

Covid-19 pushed the child poverty rate to 16.6% in December from 15.3% right before the pandemic began, according to an analysis from University of Chicago economist Bruce Meyer, University of Notre Dame’s James Sullivan and Zhejiang University’s Jeehoon Han.

Opinion: It’s encouraging that reducing child poverty is now a bipartisan aspiration

Federal aid to households actually decreased the poverty rate between March and June of 2020, but as certain benefits expired over the summer, millions fell back into poverty, including 2.3 million children under 17, according to a team of economists from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago.

Poverty increased most in states with poorer unemployment benefit systems

But in states that doled out benefits to less than 35% of unemployed residents, poverty increased by 1.3% in 2020, a study from the University of Chicago and Notre Dame found.

COVID-19 pummels U.S. economy in 2020; performance weakest in 74 years

A survey last week by professors at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame showed poverty increased by 2.4 percentage points to 11.8% in the second half of 2020, boosting the ranks of the poor by 8.1 million people.

Over 6 Million Added to Food Stamp Rolls as Pandemic Surged

An additional 8 million people fell into poverty during the second half of 2020, more than double the sharpest annual rise in poverty since the 1960s, according to a study by economists at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame released on Monday.

America's billionaires have grown $1.1 trillion richer during the pandemic

More than 8 million Americans fell into poverty during the final six months of 2020, according to real-time estimates published by economists at the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and the Lab for Economic Opportunities.

Report: American Billionaires Have Added More Than $1 Trillion In Wealth During Pandemic

According to a study released Monday by economists Bruce Meyer from the University of Chicago and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame, America’s poverty rate increased by 2.4 percentage points over the final six months of 2020.

Over 8M Americans have fallen into poverty as COVID-19 relief benefits expired

The report, released by economists at the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame, found that the nation's poverty rate increased by 2.4 percentage points between June and December, surging from 9.3% to 11.8%.

8 million Americans have fallen into poverty in recent months as government benefits lapse, a new study finds

A study by University of Notre Dame and University of Chicago economists found that 8 million Americans fell into poverty as government benefits have expired.

U.S. Suffers Sharpest Rise in Poverty Rate in More Than 50 Years

Economists Bruce Meyer, from the University of Chicago, and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame found that the poverty rate increased by 2.4 percentage points during the latter half of 2020 as the U.S. continued to suffer the economic impacts from Covid-19.

U.S. Records Worst Poverty Spike Since 1960s, Black Americans Hit Hardest

Economists from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame said the nation saw the largest annual increase in poverty in nearly 60 years.

Biden claims his $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan will cut child poverty in half — here’s how

Children are disproportionately represented among the poor, and their plight has grown worse since the summer, according to James Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame who’s tracked poverty rates during the pandemic.

How Trump's most consequential policies have changed America

Nearly 8 million more Americans have joined the ranks of the poor since June, according to researchers from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame.

US debt surged by $7 trillion under Trump. It will go much higher under Biden

Nearly 8 million more Americans have joined the ranks of the poor since June, according to researchers from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame.

The legacy of 2020: Riches for the wealthy, well educated and often White, financial pain for others

In June, there were almost 5 million fewer Americans among the ranks of the poor than at the start of the year, before the pandemic, according to data published by researchers at the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Zhejiang University.

This billionaire warns that America's massive wealth gap could lead to conflict

Nearly 8 million Americans have joined the ranks of the poor since June, according to researchers from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame.

Why 2020 really was the worst year ever

Poverty has risen every month since June, according to a report from scholars at the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities.

Congress extends pandemic aid for the jobless and renters. Here’s what you need to know.

 Still, according to a recently published report by the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame, poverty has risen each month since June, to 11.7 percent in November. 

Congressional leaders strike a long-awaited stimulus deal: $600 checks and $300 federal weekly unemployment benefits for Americans

A new study from the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame indicated 7.8 million people had fallen into poverty since late July.

Opening the Word: The horizon opens

Timothy P. O’Malley, Ph.D., is the director of education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.

Religious nonprofits scramble to get enough donations to match the surge in community needs

The economic impact of the pandemic has been swift for many families this year as nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the summer, according to data from researchers at the University of Notre Dame and University of Chicago.

50 years of tax cuts for the rich failed to trickle down, economics study says

Meanwhile, almost 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the start of the pandemic through November, according to new data released by the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.

A time to splurge or a time to scrape by: Holidays expose widening disparity among U.S. families

Nearly 12 percent of the country is living in poverty, up 2.4 percentage points since June and the biggest spike in six decades, according researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.

Billionaire MacKenzie Scott: Pandemic made the rich richer while wrecking others; donating money gives me hope

Meanwhile, millions of Americans have slipped into poverty — 6 million to 8 million, according to reports from Columbia University, University of Chicago and Notre Dame.

Take the deal, Congress. Then immediately start working on the next one.

One recent analysis, from researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame, estimated that nearly 8 million Americans have fallen — or, more accurately, been pushed — into poverty since June.

U.S. poverty jumps the most in 60 years

James X. Sullivan, a professor of economics at Notre Dame, and Bruce D. Meyer, an expert in poverty and inequality and professor at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, are tracking the nearly real-time data on a dashboard that registers the economic impact of COVID-19.

Without more jobless benefits, almost 5 million people will fall into poverty, including 1.3 million kids

Nearly 8 million people joined the ranks of the poor between June and November, according to a separate paper published Tuesday by researchers at the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Zhejiang University.

The Daily 202: Picking Buttigieg for Transportation shows Biden taking a Swiss Army knife approach to filling Cabinet

The poverty rate jumped to 11.7 percent in November, up 2.4 percentage points since June, according to new data from the University of Chicago and Notre Dame.

A $900 Billion Covid-19 Aid Compromise Is Coming Together And Some Progressives Aren’t Happy

7.8 million. That’s how many Americans have fallen into poverty since June as critical CARES Act benefits expired, according to new research from the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.

Largest Increase In U.S. Poverty Recorded In 2020

“There are two ways to counteract this upward trend in poverty: One is a dramatic improvement in the labor market. The other is more support from the federal government,” said James X. Sullivan, a Notre Dame professor.

Nearly 8 million Americans fell into poverty since June: study

The national poverty rate rose by 2.4 percentage points from 9.3 percent in June to 11.7 percent in November, putting 7.8 million people below the poverty line, according to the paper from Notre Dame’s James X. Sullivan, Chicago’s  Bruce D. Meyer, and Jeehoon Han of Zhejiang University.

Nearly 8 million Americans fell below the poverty line since the summer as the government stopped writing checks for stimulus, unemployment, and small business aid

In the past five months alone, some 7.8 million Americans fell into poverty, according to a new report released Wednesday by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.

Nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the summer

The poverty rate jumped to 11.7 percent in November, up 2.4 percentage points since June, according to new data released Wednesday by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.

What Happens to the Unemployed When the Checks Run Out

According to estimates by Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago, James X. Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame and Jeehoon Han of Zhejiang University, 11.4 percent of Americans subsisted with incomes below the official poverty line by October, up from 9.3 percent in June.

Economists to Bernie Sanders: Don't kill the relief bill over stimulus checks

If not for the stimulus checks, the US poverty rate would have been 1.1 percentage points higher in June, according to research done by Meyer, the University of Chicago economist, along with economists at the University of Notre Dame and Zhejiang University.

Unemployed in the USA: 'I don’t know what to do'

Without action, "the short-term impact is going to be more economic deprivation," says James Sullivan, economics professor at the University of Notre Dame, whose research has found that roughly 7 million people have fallen into poverty since May, many of them African American, children and those without university degrees.

Joe Biden is taking office amid a poverty crisis

Jeehoon Han of Zhejiang University, Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago, and James X. Sullivan at the University of Notre Dame have their own set of real-time measures, and while they do not calculate projections for January 2021, they tell the same story as the Columbia researchers about what happened from January to October 2020.

Decades of Gains Over U.S. Poverty At Risk of Being Wiped Out

Keeping a flow of government assistance open to poorer families will be crucial to ensure that the recovery from the pandemic doesn’t further exacerbate inequality, according to James Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

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