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Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Distinguished Chair of the Haas Institute Economic Disparities faculty research cluster Hilary Hoynes was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April, joining a select group of scholars, business leaders, and changemakers from around the US who have received one of this country’s highest honors.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest learned societies in the US and is devoted to the advancement and study of the key societal, scientific, and intellectual issues. 

Hoynes’ contributions are rooted in her scholarship on poverty, inequality, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. More specifically, her research has looked at the impact of major US anti-poverty programs, demonstrating critical findings like the fact that residents in counties that adopted the Food Stamp program before their third birthday enjoyed better health later in life and that Head Start preschool programs have longer-lasting impacts for children who do not speak English at home, among other findings. She is also the co-editor of the leading economics journal, American Economic Review

The Academy's announcement regarding Hoynes’ election noted that her research has provided “a clear and dynamic picture of how these social programs affect poverty, health, and food security, especially during economic recessions, and...is distinguished by its focus on critical policy issues and methodological rigor.”

Other notable people elected to the Academy this year included author Ta-Nehisi Coates, novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, former president Barack Obama, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor, among others.