On January 9th, President Obama named Adriana Lleras-Muney as a recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Obama said. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”
Lleras-Muney is a Professor of Economics, whose research is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies. In her recent research, published in 2016, Lleras-Muney and her co-authors documented that cash transfers given to poor women early in the 20th century led to substantial improvements in lives of their children, who obtained more education, had higher incomes and lived longer lives as a result. This was the first paper estimating the lifetime causal effects of anti-poverty cash programs on children growing up in poverty. This project is continuing to investigate how the behavior of mothers was affected by the transfers, whether they remarried, who they remarried and how the transfers affected their participation in the labor force and ultimately their mortality. In other work Lleras-Muney is investigating the long term effects of New Deal programs implemented during the Great Recession. This research aims to provide evidence on the full costs and benefits of government policies designed to help those in need.