Michalopoulos is MDRC’s chief economist and directs the Youth Employment, Criminal Justice, and Employment Policy Area. He has nearly three decades of experience studying a wide variety of social policies to help low-income families achieve better economic, health, and social outcomes . He is currently project director for a study using rapid learning cycles to improve the implementation of responsible fatherhood programs, is co-principal investigator on a national study of employment services for low-income families with a focus on individuals with behavioral health issues, and is leading a national study of home visiting programs for disadvantaged mothers (having recently completed a second national study of these programs that focused on birth outcomes and infant health).
In recent years, he also led studies of the effects of coordinated care programs for high-cost Medicaid recipients in Colorado and New York, studied the effects of telephonic care management for depressed Medicaid recipients in Rhode Island, and was co-principal investigator for the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration, a study of the effects of offering health care coverage to newly uninsured recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. His other work has included studies of financial work incentives for welfare recipients, child care subsidy policies, and programs that aim to strengthen the marriages of low-income couples. The unifying theme of his research is providing methodological rigor in developing evidence of what works for whom. Prior to joining MDRC in 1997, Michalopoulos earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech from 1992 to 1997.