James P. Ziliak

Carol Martin Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics

Department of Economics at the University of Kentucky

JAMES P. ZILIAK holds the Carol Martin Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics in the Department of Economics at the University of Kentucky, where he is Founding Director of the Center for Poverty Research and the Kentucky Federal Statistical Research Data Center. He received BS and BA degrees in economics and sociology from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Indiana University. He previously served as assistant and associate professor of economics at the University of Oregon, and has held visiting positions at the Brookings Institution, Russell Sage Foundation, University College London, University of Michigan, and University of Wisconsin. His research expertise is in the areas of labor economics, poverty, food insecurity, and tax and transfer policy. He has published widely in leading economics journals and has edited several volumes, including Welfare Reform and its Long Term Consequences for America’s Poor (Cambridge University Press 2009), Appalachian Legacy: Economic Opportunity after the War on Poverty (Brookings Institution Press 2012), and SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well Being (Stanford University Press, 2015). He served as Chair of the National Academies of Science Workshop on Research Gaps and Opportunities on the Causes and Consequences of Child Hunger, and as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Examination of the Adequacy of Food Resources and SNAP Allotments.


Restoring Economic Opportunity for “The People Left Behind”: Employment Strategies for Rural America

In order to stimulate employment in rural areas, author James P. Ziliak proposes a two-fold strategy of bringing “people to jobs” and “jobs to people,” an approach that combines people-based and place-based policies. The people-based policies include relocation assistance payments for those willing to make a permanent move to a new job, as well as a short- term credit for commuting expenses tied to a new job without residential relocation.