David Brady

Director David Brady

David Brady is Professor in the School of Public Policy and Director of the Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty at UCR. He teaches classes in quantitative methods, poverty, inequality, and social policy. He investigates a variety of research questions related to poverty/inequality, comparative political economy, social policy, politics, health/healthcare, globalization/development, and work/labor.

Dave is the author of Rich Democracies, Poor People and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty (both with Oxford University Press). In recent years, he has published articles on the politics of socialized healthcare across rich democracies in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; on brokers and the earnings of female sex workers in India in the American Sociological Review; how universal or targeted social policies influence both public opinion and poverty in the American Sociological Review; testing whether immigration undermines public support for social policy in the American Sociological Review; the long-term decline of government spending in rich democracies in the Journal of European Social Policy; and on unionization and working poverty across the U.S. in the American Sociological Review. Among other questions, he is presently studying the measurement of permanent income, the risks of poverty, the deprivation of female sex workers in India, and the relationship between policies/institutions and poverty/well-being/health. 

David has been at UCR since Fall 2015, after spending three years as Director of the Inequality and Social Policy department at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology and Public Affairs from Indiana University in 2001. He also earned an M.A. in Sociology from Indiana University 1997, and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota in 1994. Prior to that, he is originally from Vermillion, South Dakota. He has been the recipient of the William J. Wilson Early Career Award from the American Sociological Association; the Aldi J.M. Hagenaars Luxembourg Income Study Memorial Award; and awards for teaching and mentoring graduate students.


The Blum Initiative is led by a steering committee in collaboration with the Director. The committee has multiple responsibilities: approving the annual spending plans, evaluating proposals for funding, disseminating information about and encouraging participation in the Initiative, and guiding the long-term direction of the Initiative.

We welcome involvement in leading the Blum Initiative from UCR faculty and look to grow the steering committee in the future. If you would like to get involved, please let us know. The Director would be happy to speak with faculty at UCR who are interested in taking a leadership role in the study of poverty.