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Molly W. Metzger

Assistant Professor
PhD, Northwestern University
Molly W. Metzger

Phone: 314-935-6989


Research interests:

Affordable housing

Social policy

Poverty and inequality


Dr. Metzger’s research explores the ways in which public policies interact with social structure and developmental factors to shape cities and lives. She has developed a flexible toolkit of analytic approaches to explore persistent social problems, seeking to illuminate the lived experiences of poor and working class citizens.

Dr. Metzger’s work focuses on affordable housing policy, racial segregation, and the deconcentration of poverty in American cities. Her recent work includes a community-based participatory research project in which she partnered with residents of the Julia C. Lathrop Homes, the last major public housing on Chicago’s north side.

Her work also extends into other areas of social welfare, including education policy and early childhood development. She has contributed to the growing body of literature demonstrating the long-term health benefits of breastfeeding, particularly with regard to the prevention of obesity. In prior work at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies, she managed data collection for an early childhood intervention based at 35 Chicago Head Start sites.

Dr. Metzger has experienced the “front lines” of urban poverty in Chicago as a service provider, a researcher, and an engaged citizen. She brings this experience to bear on both her research and her teaching.


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