Callie Freitag

Ph.D. Candidate
Callie Freitag is a mixed-methods policy researcher and demographer. Her work focuses on anti-poverty and income support policies for older adults and people with disabilities. As a graduate research assistant, she works with Professor Jennie Romich (School of Social Work) on projects using the Washington Merged Longitudinal Administrative Dataset (

Callie's dissertation explores why poverty persists among older adults in the United States despite social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare. The first chapter uses Current Population Survey data to find that adults over 50 who exit the labor force for any reason are significantly more likely to enter poverty that year. The second chapter uses nationally representative qualitative interview data from the American Voices Project to explore older adults' experiences of poverty and material hardship, the life events that lead to these experiences, and the strategies older adults use to make ends meet. The third chapter examines the consequences of disability determination age rules for the Supplemental Security Income program. Callie's work has been supported by the UW Retirement Association and the Social Security Administration's Retirement and Disability Research Consortium.

Callie began the Ph.D. program at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in 2018 and is a trainee with the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. Prior to the program, Callie spent three years as policy analyst in Sacramento, California, most recently for the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA). At CWDA, Callie led the advocacy efforts to establish Home Safe, a grant program to prevent homelessness among older adults who have experienced abuse and neglect. Prior to her advocacy role, she worked at the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office in California and in the budget office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.

M.S. Public Policy and Management, University of Washington, 2021
M.A. Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, 2015
B.S. Mathematics, The George Washington University, 2012
Poverty and Inequality
Aging and the Life Course
Social Policy
Mixed-Methods Policy Analysis
Social Demography
Critical Disability Studies

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