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Sarah Hamersma

Contact Information:


426 Eggers Hall

Office Hours:

Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30
Wednesday 10:30 - 11:30
or by appointment

Staff Support:

Zia Jackson


Sarah Hamersma

Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies, Public Administration and International Affairs Department


Fall 2023

PAI 721.001 Introduction to Statistics, Tuesday & Thursday 9:30-10:50, Maxwell Hall 111

PAI 810.003 Advanced Seminar: Policy and Administration, Tuesday & Thursday 12:30-1:50, Eggers Hall 209

PAI 810.004 Applied Econometrics for Policy Analysis, Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-3:20, Eggers Hall 209

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004


Sarah Hamersma is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs and a senior research associate in the Center for Policy Research. She taught at the University of Florida before coming to Syracuse University. 

Much of her most recent research focuses on health and nutrition programs, examining their consequences for food insecurity, health outcomes and labor supply. New work funded by the Cornell Population Center and Center for Aging Policy Studies (Syracuse) will investigate food assistance and labor market decisions over the life cycle in New York state.

An additional new project, funded by the USDA through the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, will use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to study the intergenerational transmission of food insecurity and the role of higher education and food assistance in breaking such transmission. Sarah received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004.

Areas of Expertise

Public economics, labor economics, applied econometrics

Research Interests

Anti-poverty programs, public health, labor supply of disadvantaged workers, statistical grammar

Research Grant Awards and Projects

Principle Investigator. “Keeping the 'Great Equalizer' Fed: SNAP Access and Young Adults’ Educational Engagement,” with Matthew Kim and Rhea Acuna. Funded by the William T. Grant Foundation. 2020-2022.


Selected Papers

“Pregnancy Medicaid Expansions and Fertility: Differentiating Between the Intensive and Extensive Margins” Lincoln Groves and Leonard Lopoo. Population Research and Policy Review, 37, Issue 3, pp. 461-484: June 2018

“The Effects of Parental Medicaid Expansions on Children’s Health Insurance Coverage” with Matthew Kim and Brenden Timpe. Contemporary Economic Policy, accepted April 2018, published online May 2018

“Business Cycles, Medicaid Generosity, and Birth Outcomes” with Yilin Hou, Yusun Kim, and Douglas Wolf. Population Research and Policy Review, 37, Issue 5, pp. 729-749: October 2018.

"Wearing out Your Welcome: Examining Differential Medicaid Eligibility of New Entrants and Continuing Recipients" with Burçin Ünel. Contemporary Economic Policy, 35, Issue 3, pp. 457-471: 2017.

Food Security and Teenage Labor Supply” with Matthew Kim. Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, 38, Issue 1, pp. 73-92: March 2016.

"Information Shocks and the Takeup of Social Programs."  with David Figlio and Jeffrey Roth, formally an NBER working paper entitled "Information Shocks and Social Networks." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34, Issue 4, pp. 781-804: Fall 2015.

"Temporary Help Work: Earnings, Wages and Multiple Job Holding." Carolyn Heinrich and Peter Mueser, Industrial Relations, Vol. 53, Issue 1, (January, 2014), pp. 72-100.

"The Effects of Medicaid Earnings Limits on Earnings Growth among Poor Workers." B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 13, Issue 2, (August, 2013), pp. 887–919.

 “Participation and Crowd Out: Assessing the Effects of Parental Medicaid Expansions." Matthew Kim, Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 32 (January, 2013), pp. 160-171. 

 “Why Don’t Eligible Firms Claim Hiring Subsidies?  The Role of Job Duration.” Economic Inquiry, Vol. 49, Issue 3,(July, 2011), pp. 916-934.   

 “The Effect of Parental Medicaid Expansions on Job Mobility." Matthew Kim, Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 28, Issue 4,(July, 2009).

 “Does Prenatal WIC Participation Improve Birth Outcomes?” David Figlio and Jeffrey Roth, Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 93, Issue 1-2,(February, 2009).

 “The Effects of an Employer Subsidy on Employment Outcomes: A Study of the Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 27, Issue 3,(Summer, 2008).

  “Temporary Help Service Firms’ Use of Employer Tax Credits: Implications for Disadvantaged Workers’ Labor Market Outcomes." Carolyn Heinrich, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74, Issue 4,(April, 2008).

 “The Bare Minimum.” New York Times-Op-ed (March 8, 2007).

 “The Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits.” Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, No. 15,(October, 2005).

 “Lifting Up the Poor: A Dialogue on Religion, Poverty, and Welfare Reform."  Mary Jo Bane and Lawrence M. Mead, Reviewed for Faith and Economics, Vol.44,(Fall, 2004).

 “The Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits: Participation Rates Among Eligible Workers.” National Tax Journal, Vol. 56, Issue 4,(December, 2003).

 “AFDC and Births to Unwed Women." Kurt C. Schaefer and Thomas VanderVeen, Labour Economics, Vol. 9, Issue 6,(December, 2002).