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Headshot of Dr. Castro Baker

Amy Castro Baker, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

3701 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214

Research Interests

Economic mobility

Guaranteed income

Innovation

How social policies produce gender and race disparities in housing and lending

Funded Projects

2019-2021        West, S., & Castro Baker, A. Co-Principal Investigator. Volatility, Agency, and Health: A City-Led Guaranteed Income Experiment. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ($690,000).

2018-2019        West, S. & Castro Baker, A. Co-Principal Investigator. Unleashing Potential and Providing Stability in Stockton: A Mixed-Methods Exploratory Evaluation of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration. Economic Security Project ($28,000).

2017-2022        Castro Baker, A. Principal Investigator, Economic Mobility & Working Class Families: Pascale Sykes Foundation. ($1,532,438).

2017-2018        Castro Baker, A. Principal Investigator, & West, S. Co-Principal Investigator, Aging into Poverty: Women, Housing, and the Sandwich Generation. Asset Funders Network. ($25,000).

Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Social Policy and Practice and serves as the Co-PI of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration under Mayor Michael Tubbs. She is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Penn’s School of Nursing (AY 19-20), an affiliated faculty member of the Alice Paul Center, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She was the 2017 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at the School of Social Policy and Practice where she teaches courses on policy analysis, gender, and impacting government.

Dr. Baker’s research explores economic mobility, guaranteed income, innovation, and how social policies produce gender and race disparities in housing and lending. She was awarded the GADE Research Award, the Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Nina Fortin Award for her work on women and risky lending during the foreclosure crisis. Dr. Baker is also the Principal Investigator of a longitudinal economic mobility intervention following intergenerational cohorts of immigrant families in Jersey City and the South Bronx.

Prior to her time at Penn, she spent more than a decade working with non-profits and community-based agencies in Philadelphia and New York City. She has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Economic Security Project, the Asset Funders Network, and the Pascale Sykes Foundation. Her research has been published by Social Service Review, the Gerontologist, Social Science & Medicine, Social Work, The American Journal of Public Health, and featured throughout the popular press. She earned a PhD in Social Welfare and a Master of Philosophy from the City University of New York, a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Social Work from Cairn University.

Publications

West, S., & Castro Baker, A., Balakrishnan, S., Rao, K., & Tan, G.Y. (2018). Pre-Analysis Plan: Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration.

Castro Baker, A., West, S., & Famakinwa, F. (2018). On shaky ground: Stabilizing the financial security of single women. Policy Brief: Asset Funders Network.

Castro Baker, A. (2018). Financialisation, home equity, and social reproduction: Relational pathways of risk. Critical Housing Analysis, 5(2), 27-34.

Castro Baker, A., Kroehle, K*., Patel, H*., & Jacobs, C. (2018). Queering the question: Using survey marginalia to capture gender fluidity in housing and child welfare. Child Welfare. 96(1): 127-146.

Castro Baker, A., West, S., & Wood, A*. (2017). Asset depletion, chronic financial stress, and mortgage trouble among older female homeowners. The Gerontologist.

Castro Baker, A. & Keene, D.K. (2016). “There’s a difference—I own this”: Negotiating social and financial services under threat of mortgage foreclosure. Social Work, 61(4): 321-330.

Castro Baker, A., Brown, L.M. & Ragonese, M*. (2016). Confronting barriers to critical discussions about sexualization with adolescent girls. Social Work, 61(1): 79-81.

Castro Baker, A. (2014). Eroding the wealth of women: Gender and the subprime foreclosure crisis. Social Service Review, 88(1), 59-91.

Keene, D., Cowan, S.K. & Castro Baker, A. (2014). “When you’re in a crisis like that, you don’t want people to know”: mortgage strain, stigma and mental health. American Journal of Public Health,105(5): 1008–1012.

Keene, D., Lynch, J. & Castro Baker, A. (2014). Fragile health & fragile wealth: Mortgage strain among African American homeowners. Social Science & Medicine, 118, 119-126.

*Notes student co-author.

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