Caroline Ratcliffe is a senior fellow and codirector of the Opportunity and Ownership initiative at the Urban Institute. An expert on asset building and poverty, she has published and spoken extensively on poverty, emergency savings, alternative financial-sector products, and welfare programs and policies. Ratcliffe has evaluated programs aimed at moving low-income families into the financial mainstream and studied how welfare programs and policies affect families' economic well-being. Her research also examines persistent childhood poverty and how it relates to adult success.
Ratcliffe's research has been published in numerous academic journals, including American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, Demography, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She also authored a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty. Ratcliffe testified before the US House Committee on Agriculture and the District of Columbia's City Council on persistent child poverty. She also provided testimony to the US Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on closing the racial wealth gap and has been called on by congressional staff for briefings on household economic security. She recently served on the Aspen Institute's advisory group for its Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative. Her work has been cited in elite media outlets, including the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, and she has appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, and Marketplace.
Before joining Urban, Ratcliffe held positions at the Congressional Budget Office and Brookings Institution. She was also a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University. She holds a PhD in economics from Cornell University.