Regina S. Baker, Ph.D., M.S.W.


Assistant Professor of Sociology


218 McNeil Building


Dr. Regina S. Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Research Associate at the Population Studies Center and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Africana Studies. Her research is fundamentally concerned the question: how do micro- and macro- contexts shape create, maintain, and reproduce poverty and inequality across individuals, time, and place? Dr. Baker's current research focuses on three areas: 1) poverty and poverty risks, particularly among mothers and children; 2) the roles of political and historical institutions in understanding inequalities across place (e.g. poverty in the South); and 3) racial socioeconomic disparities. While her current work primarily involves the use of quantitative techniques to analyze large-scale and often multi-level data sets, she also have training in qualitative methods. Her research has been published in Social Forces, Journal of Marriage and Family, American Sociological Review, American Behavioral Scientist, and Advances in Gender Studies.


Ph.D. Sociology, Duke University 2015
M.A. Sociology, Duke University, 2012
M.S.W. Social Work, University of Georgia, 2009
B.A. Sociology, Program in Leadership & Community Service, Mercer University, 2007

Courses Taught
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • The Rich and the Poor
  • Introduction to Sociological Research
Selected Publications

Regina S. Baker. 2020. “Why is the American South Poorer?” Social Forces 99(1): 126–154.

Regina S. Baker and Linda Burton. 2018. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Socioeconomic (Im)mobility among Low-Income Mothers of Children with Disabilities.” In Marginalized Mothers, Mothering from the Margins, Advances in Gender Research, Volume 25, by Tiffany Taylor and Katrina Bloch (Eds.) Somerville, MA: Emerald.

Regina S. Baker. 2015. “The Changing Association among Marriage, Work, and Child Poverty in the United States 1974-2010.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77:1166-1178.

Brady, David, Regina S. Baker, and Ryan Finnigan. 2013. “When Unionization Disappears: State-Level Unionization and Working Poverty in the U.S.” American Sociological Review 78(5): 872-896.

Burton, Linda M., Daniel T. Lichter, Regina S. Baker, and John Eason. 2013. “Inequalities, Family Processes, and Health in a ‘New’ Rural America.” American Behavioral Scientist 57(8): 1127-1150.


Population Studies Center
Center of Africana Studies