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Sarah Weakley

Sarah Weakley
Name
Sarah Weakley
Title
Organisation
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Address
Edinburgh UK
Telephone
E-Mail
Research Interests
Youth, Welfare states, transition to adulthood, poverty, Quantitative Methods, Longitudinal Data Analysis, US domestic policy, UK domestic policy
URL
http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/gradschool/community_and_representation/research_student_profiles/social_policy/sarah_weakley

PhD Title

Welfare for Whom: the impact of poverty reduction policies on youth transitions in the US and UK

Research Interests 

My research is focused on the impact of poverty reduction policies, implemented via government transfers between 18 and 24, on a young person's ability to become economically independent by their late 30s/early 40s. This comparative work will focus on two countries that are often similarly categorised in welfare state literature - the United States and the United Kingdom - but which have very different policies and programmes of assistance and support on the ground. This research stands at the intersection of welfare state literature and youth transitions literature, with an eye towards measuring just how programmes of public assistance work  for low-income young people - a subpopulation that is rarely researched regarding their interaction with government programmes. With the current debate in the U.K. moving towards eliminating most public assistance to single young people altogether (already present in the U.S.), it is timely to empirically explore how benefit receipt truly affects a young person's adulthood outcomes. This work also engages with the current debate on the function of government assistance altogether: do benefits (government transfers) serve as a temporary 'hand-up' and lead to income stability, or does receipt in youth begin the cycle of 'welfare dependency'? 
These questions will be analysed quantitatively using longitudinal data - the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (U.S.) and the 1970 British Cohort Study.

Supervisors

Dr. Daniel Clegg (Social Policy) and Dr. Jan Eichhorn (Social Policy) 

Qualifications

MRes Urban Studies (Merit), 2014, University of Glasgow 

Master of Public Administration (Distinction), 2012, George Washington University 

BA English Rhetoric and Professional Writing (Hons), 2008, Washington State University 

Awards

Principal's Career Development Scholarship (2014-2017)

Graduate School Scholarship (2014-2017)

Other Activities/Affiliations

Co-Organiser, Childhood and Youth Studies Network 

Staff Writer, It Ain't Necessarily So

Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (PCDS project partner)