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Elizabeth Rigby PhD

Elizabeth Rigby received her PhD in Politics and Education from Columbia University in 2005. Her dissertation examined the politics of early care and education policymaking in the American states in order to better understand how political contexts may shape other contextual factors influencing young children's healthy growth and development.

As a Health & Society Scholar, Rigby is continuing her work on the politics of social policymaking in the United States expanding her current focus to include health policymaking as well as education, welfare, and taxation policy. By bridging these policy areas, this research allows for a fuller conceptualization of the package of policies that affect disparities in outcomes among children and families.

Rigby holds a BA in Political Science from Emory University and an M.A. in education from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to her doctoral study, Rigby coordinated a state-wide lobbying campaign, worked for a voter information service, and spent three years teaching in St. Louis Public Schools.

More recently, Rigby held a research fellowship at the National Center for Children and Families where she has worked on national research projects (e.g., Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, Head Start Quality Research Centers) and consulted with state governments regarding their early childhood policies. Together these experiences convinced her of the importance of structural and institutional influences on both individual outcomes and the inequalities we see among population sub-groups. This conviction motivates her research on the causes and consequences of public policy in our society.
Picture from Policy and Place:  A Contextual Account of Medicaid Participation in Wisconsin video
April 30 2007