Public Policy Analysis, Indiana University
Cohort Six Fellow

Academic Mentor
Maureen Pirog
Rudy Professor of Policy Analysis, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Policy Mentor
Mindi Goodpaster
Director, Public Policy and Advocacy Analysis, Marion County Commission on Youth

Research Interests
children’s health and well-being; parenting behaviors; inequality; public policy analysis; program evaluation

Areas of Expertise

Early Childhood Education and Initiatives, Maternal Health, Mental Health and Well-Being, Program Evaluation, Difference in Difference Modeling, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Regression Modeling, Structural Equation Models, Infants and Toddlers, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Preschool-aged Children


Lindsey Bullinger is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs concentrating in public policy analysis and public finance. Ms. Bullinger’s research examines how public policies impact parents’ child-rearing decisions, and how those decisions affect children’s health and well-being. Prior to entering her PhD program, Ms. Bullinger worked with a multiservice residential treatment center for children with emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric disturbances in Syracuse, New York. Ms. Bullinger was also a policy analyst at Indiana Public Policy Institute, where she was involved in projects related to homelessness and education. She earned an MPA from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a BA from Miami University.


More Money, Fewer Problems? The Impact of Income-Related Policies on Children's Well-Being

The impact of family income on the well-being and health of children has been a longstanding topic of interest for policymakers and scholars. Wealthier parents can afford to spend more on their children than lower income families. These “investments” then lead to better health, education, and employment outcomes for children, in both the short and long run. Though research providing causal evidence of the impact of income on children’s health and well-being is growing, understanding the mechanisms remains underdeveloped. Using quantitative methods, this dissertation investigates how policies that change family income impact children’s well-being and health. By evaluating different policy levers, this dissertation will contribute to the discussion of how various policy tools may have different effects for children and families. This dissertation will also help to understand the mechanisms through which income-enhancing policies affect parenting behaviors and child well-being.