Regina S. Baker


  • Regina Baker (PSC Research Associate) was featured in OMNIA about research that examines the relationship between poverty, marriage, and racial inequality. “Research kind of hit a brick wall and stopped at this behavioral perspective, focusing on individual decisions—in this case, Black women having kids out of wedlock,” she says. “People were not even thinking about the roles American history, racism, and systems of oppression play in reproducing poverty.” The article was also featured in Penn Today.

  • Irma Elo (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Regina Baker (PSC Research Associate) are credited with research support in a recent episode of the TradeOffs podcast. Listen to the episode and read more here.

  • Penn School of Arts & Science's OMNIA recently launched a six-episode podcast series that explores the forces that have shaped events in 2020. The first three episodes of In These Times are now available online. Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Regina Baker (PSC Research Associate) were featured in the first episode,
    "Dimensions of the COVID-19 Crisis."

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Ph.D., Sociology, Duke University, 2015

My research interests include the areas of poverty & inequality, social stratification, families & children, work/employment, and the U.S. South. Broadly, my research is fundamentally concerned with inequality and how micro and macro contexts help create, maintain, and reproduce inequalities. Given my theoretical and substantive emphasis on both the individual and structure, my work employs various research designs. For example, I use advanced quantitative techniques and large data sets to investigate how micro- and macro-level factors influence individual outcomes. I also employ qualitative techniques such as analyzing longitudinal ethnographic data to study low-income families with children.

Currently, my research focuses on two areas: 1) the causes and consequences of inequality and how these impact child and family outcomes and 2) inequalities across place, namely the South, and its disproportionate share of the nation’s socio-economic problems such as poverty.  My recent Journal of Marriage and Family publication, “The Changing Associations Among Marriage, Work, and Child Poverty in the United States, 1974-2010,” combines my interests in poverty, work, and the family. This research documents that while both marriage and work continue protect children against poverty, their relative importance has changed over time with work becoming more salient than marriage.


  • Penn Arts and Sciences In These Times: Regina S. Baker discusses Dimensions of the Covid-19 Crisis (Episode 1)
  • Institute for Research on Poverty: Regina S. Baker on The Legacy of Slavery and the Impact of Family Structure on Black-White Inequality in Poverty
  • Penn NSOAI Racism & Anti-Racism in Contemporary America: Regina S. Baker discusses The Economic System- Income & Wealth Disparities