Laura Tach
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Policy Analysis and Management
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

2310 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall



Laura Tach is an Associate Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology (by courtesy) at Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests focus on poverty and social policy.

Together with Rachel Dunifon, she co-directs Cornell Project 2Gen, an initiative of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. Project 2Gen serves as a hub for research, policy, and practice that supports vulnerable caregivers and children together. 

Laura received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy at Harvard University in 2010. Prior to joining the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell, Laura was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.


Tach, Laura, Rachel Dunifon, and Douglas Miller, Eds. Forthcoming. Confronting Inequality: How Policies and Practices Shape Children's Opportunities. American Psychological Association Press.

Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Kathryn Edin, Laura Tach, and Jennifer Sykes McLaughlin. 2015. It’s Not Like I’m Poor: The Financial Lives of the Working Poor. University of California Press.

Selected Journal Articles

Bischoff, Kendra and Laura Tach. Forthcoming. “School Choice, Neighborhood Change, and Racial Imbalance between Public Elementary Schools and Surrounding Neighborhoods.” Sociological Science.

Tach, Laura, Barrett Lee, Michael Martin*, and Lauren Hannscott*. 2019. “Fragmentation or Diversification? Ethno-Racial Change and the Social and Economic Heterogeneity of Places.” Demography 56(6): 2193-2227.

Amorim, Mariana* and Laura Tach. 2019. “Multiple-Partner Fertility and Cohort Change in the Prevalence of Half Siblings.” Demography 56(6): 2033-2061. 

Tach, Laura, Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Kathryn Edin, and Mariana Amorim*. 2019. “As Good as Money in the Bank: Building a Personal Safety Net with the Earned Income Tax Credit.” Social Problems 66(2): 274-293.

Bischoff, Kendra and Laura Tach. 2018. “The Racial Composition of Neighborhoods and Local Schools: The Role of Diversity, Inequality, and School Choice.” City & Community 17(3): 675-701.

Kimberlin, Sara, Laura Tach, and Christopher Wimer. 2018. “A Renter’s Tax Credit to Curtail the Affordable Housing Crisis.” RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 4(2): 131-160.

Tach, Laura and Allison Dwyer Emory*. 2017. “Public Housing Redevelopment, Neighborhood Change, and the Restructuring of Urban Inequality.” American Journal of Sociology 123(3): 686-739.

Tach, Laura and Kathryn Edin. 2017. “The Social Safety Net after Welfare Reform: Recent Developments and Consequences for Household Dynamics.” Annual Review of Sociology 43: 541-561.

Jacoby, Sara F.*, Laura Tach, Terry Guerra, Douglas J. Wiebe, and Therese S. Richmond. 2017. “The Health Status of Low-Resource and Housing-Unstable Families Living in Violent Neighborhoods.” Health & Social Care in the Community 25(2): 578-589.

Eads, Alicia* and Laura Tach. 2016. “Wealth and the Stability of Romantic Relationships.” RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 2(6): 197-224.

Hall, Matthew, Laura Tach and Barrett Lee. 2016. “Trajectories of Ethnoracial Diversity in American Communities, 1980-2010.” Population and Development Review 42(2): 271-297.

Tach, Laura, Sara Jacoby*, Douglas J. Wiebe, Therese Guerra, and Therese S. Richmond. 2016. “The Effect of Microneighborhood Conditions on Adult Educational Attainment in a Subsidized Housing Intervention.” Housing Policy Debate 26(2): 380-397.

Western, Bruce, Deirdre Bloome, Benjamin Sosnaud, and Laura Tach. 2016. “Trends in Income Insecurity among U.S Children, 1984-2010.”  Demography 53(2): 419-447.

Tach, Laura and Mariana Amorim*. 2015. “Constrained, Convenient & Symbolic Consumption: Neighborhood Food Environments and Economic Coping Strategies among the Urban Poor.” Journal of Urban Health 92(5): 815-834.

Tach, Laura and Benjamin Cornwell. 2015. “Social Networks and Social Capital: New Directions for a Household Panel Survey.” Journal of Economic and Social Measurement 40: 275-307.

Tach, Laura and Alicia Eads*. 2015. “The Economic Consequences of Marital and Cohabitation Dissolution.” Demography 52(2): 401-432.

Aronowitz, Robert, Andrew Deener, Danya Keene, Jason Schnittker, and Laura Tach. 2015. “Cultural Reflexivity in Health Research and Practice.” American Journal of Public Health 105: 403-408.

 Tach, Laura. 2015. “Social Mobility in an Era of Family Instability and Complexity.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 657: 83-97. 

Tach, Laura. 2014. “Diversity, Inequality, and Microsegregation: Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion in a Racially and Economically Diverse Community.” Cityscape 16(3): 13-45.

Tach, Laura, Kathryn Edin, Hope Harvey*, and Brielle Bryan*. 2014. “The Family-Go-Round: Family Complexity and Father Involvement from a Father's Perspective.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 654(1): 169-184.

Tach, Laura and Sarah Halpern-Meekin. 2014. “Tax Code Knowledge and Behavioral Responses among EITC Recipients: Policy Insights from Qualitative Data.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 33(2): 413-439.

Tach, Laura and Sara Sternberg Greene*. 2014. “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Economic and Cultural Explanations for How Lower-Income Families Manage Debt.” Social Problems 61(1): 1-21.

Tach, Laura and Kathryn Edin. 2013. “The Compositional and Institutional Sources of Union Dissolution among Married and Unmarried Parents.” Demography 50: 1789-1818.

 McLanahan, Sara, Laura Tach, and Daniel Schneider. 2013. “The Causal Effect of Father  Absence.Annual Review of Sociology 39: 399-427.

Halpern-Meekin, Sarah and Laura Tach. 2013. “Discordance in Couples’ Reporting of Courtship Stages: Implications for Measurement and Marital Quality.” Social Science Research 42(4): 1143-1155.

Mendenhall, Ruby, Kathryn Edin, Jeff Kling, Jennifer Sykes, Laura Tach, and Katrin Kris. 2012. “The Role of the EITC in the Budgets of Low Income Families.” Social Service Review 86(3): 327-400.

Western, Bruce, Deirdre Bloome*, Benjamin Sosnaud*, and Laura Tach. 2012. “Economic Insecurity among American Families.”  Annual Review of Sociology 38: 341-359.

Tach, Laura and Sarah Halpern-Meekin. 2012. “Marital Quality and Divorce Decisions: How do Premarital Cohabitation and Nonmarital Childbearing Matter?” Family Relations 61(4): 571-585.

Tach, Laura and Kathryn Edin. 2011. “The Relationship Contexts of Young Disadvantaged Men.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 635(May): 56-75.

Tach, Laura, Ronald Mincy, and Kathryn Edin. 2010. “Parenting as a Package Deal: Relationships, Fertility, and Nonresident Father Involvement among Unmarried Parents.” Demography. 47(1): 181-204.

Tach, Laura. 2009. “More than Bricks and Mortar: Neighborhood Frames, Social Processes, and the Mixed-Income Redevelopment of a Public Housing Project.” City & Community 8(3): 273-303.

 Odgers, Candice, Terrie Moffitt, Laura Tach, Robert Sampson. 2009. “The Protective Effects of Neighborhood Collective Efficacy on Children Growing Up in Deprivation: A Developmental Analysis.”  Developmental Psychology 45(4): 942-957.

Tach, Laura and Sarah Halpern-Meekin*. 2009. “How Does Premarital Cohabitation Affect Trajectories of Marital Quality?”  Journal of Marriage and Family 71: 298-317.

Edin, Kathryn, Laura Tach, and Ronald Mincy. 2009. “Claiming Fatherhood: Race and the Dynamics of Paternal Involvement among Unmarried Fathers.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 621: 149-177.

Halpern-Meekin*, Sarah and Laura Tach. 2008. “Heterogeneity in Two-Parent Families and Adolescent Well-Being.” Journal of Marriage and Family 70: 435-451.

Tach, Laura and George Farkas. 2006. “Ability Grouping and Educational Stratification in the Early School Years.” Social Science Research 35: 1048-1079.

*denotes student coauthor


  • PAM 3250: Neighborhoods & Housing Policy
  • PAM 3150: Social Welfare Policy in the United States
  • PAM 4190: Poverty, Policy, & Child Development
  • PAM 3160: Population Controversies in Europe & the US (Turin, Italy)
  • B.A. Sociology, Pennsylvania State University
  • A.M. Sociology, Harvard University
  • Ph.D. Sociology & Social Policy, Harvard University
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