Yu-Ling Chang

Job title: 
Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Yu-Ling Chang's scholarly interests focus on the relationships among poverty, inequality and social safety net programs. Her research addresses both the process of policymaking and the consequences of public policies for economically disadvantaged populations. Her research agenda is informed by her professional experiences serving and advocating for individuals suffering from economic hardship during the global economic recession in the late 2000s.

Dr. Chang's current research projects investigate the racial equity and CalWORKs reforms in California State in the context of the global pandemic and the policy impacts of state Unemployment Insurance modernization on working families.

Her research has secured substantial support from leading regional and national research institutions, including the Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Scholars Network Grant from the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation of the Administration for Children and Families, the Early Career Research Awards from the Upjohn Institute, the GSR Award from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, the Washington State Labor Research Grant from the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, the Social Policy Fellowship Program from the West Coast Poverty Center and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Training Grant from the National Poverty Center.

Dr. Chang is expanding her research scope from cross-state comparative research in the US to cross-national comparative research in a global context. She is engaged in international collaborations, including with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong and with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland.

Dr. Chang earned her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) from National Taiwan University. She also holds a PhD in social welfare from the University of Washington, with a concentration in public policy and management and a certificate in statistics track in social science.


  • SW 116 Current Topics in Social Welfare Policy: Poverty & Economic Justice
  • SW 220 Introduction to Social Welfare Policy
  • SW 298 Anti-Poverty Practice: A Financial Capability and Asset Building Approach

Honors / Awards

  • ACF Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Scholars Network Grant, 2020-2025
  • W.E. Upjohn Institute Early Career Research Award, 2019
  • Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship, 2018
  • Institute for Research on Labor Employment Research Grant, 2017-2018
  • Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2017
  • Washington State Labor Research Grant, 2015
  • Social Policy Research Fellowship, West Coast Poverty Center, 2012-2014

Expanded Publications

Chang, Y.-L. & Hodges, L. (2024). Did Unemployment Insurance modernization provisions increase benefit receipt among economically disadvantaged workers?  Social Service Review, 98(1).

Wu, C. F., Chang, Y.-L., Musaad, S, & Yoon, S. (2022). How do low-income single-mothers get by when unemployment strikes: Patterns of multiple program participation after transition from employment to unemployment. PLOS ONE, 17(9): e0274799.

Aby, A., Chang, Y.-L., Kang, J. Y., Romich, J. & Wang, J. S.-H.  (2022). Working poverty and anti-poverty policy in Four East Asian Societies. In I. Ku & P. Saunders (Eds.), Poverty and inequality in East Asia: Work, family and policy. Santa Barbara, Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Chang, Y.-L., Romich, J., Ybarra, M. (2021). Major means-tested and income support programs for the working class, 2009-2019. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 695(1), 242-259.

Chang, Y.L. & Wu, C. F. (2021). Examining low-income single-mother families’ experiences with family benefit packages during and after the Great Recession in the United States. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 6(14), 265.

Lanfranconi, L., Chang, Y.-L., & Basaran, A.*  (2021). At the intersection of immigration and welfare governance in the United States:  State, county and frontline levels and clients’ perspectives. Journal of Social Policy Research, 66(4), 441-469. 

Chang, Y.-L. & Romich, J. (2021). The U.S. safety net since the Great Recession: Trends and Reforms, 2007-2017. Social Work, 66(1), 29-37.

Lanfranconi, L., Chang, Y.-L., Das, A., & Simpson, P. (2020). Social equity discourses and practices within decentralized welfare-to-work programs in California.  Social Policy & Administration(54)6, 1-17.

Chang, Y.-L., Lanfranconi, L., & Clark, K. (2020). Second-order devolution and the hidden structural discrimination? Examining county welfare-to-work service systems in California.  Journal of Poverty(24)5-6, 1-21.

Wu, C. F., Chang, Y.-L., Rhodes, E., Jung, W. & Musaad, S. (2020). Work-hour trajectories and associated socioeconomic characteristics among single mothers. For Social Work Research, 44(1), 47-57.

Chang, Y.-L. (2020). Does state Unemployment Insurance modernization explain the trajectories of economic security among working households? Longitudinal Evidence from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation. Journal of Family and Economic Issues(41), 200-217.

Chang, Y.-L. (2020). Unequal social protection under the federalist system: Three Unemployment Insurance policy approaches in the United States, 2007-2015Journal of Social Policy, 49(1), 189-211.

Chang, Y.-L. (2019, June 24). Unequal social protection in the United States: How do Unemployment Insurance programs vary across states? The Social Policy Blog.

Chang, Y.-L. (2019). The politics of knowledge and poverty: A case study of Washington State’s reform of the General Assistance programJournal of Sociology and Social Welfare, (46)2, 75-100.

Martinson, M. L., Chang, Y.-L., Han, W.-J., & Wen, J. (2018). Child overweight and obesity in Shanghai, China: Contextualizing Chinese socioeconomic and gender difference. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 25(1), 141-149.

Chang, Y.-L. (2017). An overview of the General Assistance. In R. Rycroft (Ed.), The American middle class: An economic encyclopedia of progress and poverty (pp.168-171) Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood.

Chang, Y.-L. (2016). State social safety net programs and the Great Recession: The first line of defense and the last resort for the economically disadvantaged (Doctoral dissertation). University of Washington, Seattle Washington.

Chang, Y.-L. (2015). Re-examining the U.S. social safety net for working-age families: Lessons from the Great Recession and its aftermath. Journal of Policy Practice, 14(2), 139-161.

Bartle, E., Barretti, M., & Chang, Y.-L. (2015). Policy practice framework. In S. J. Roll (Ed.), Macro Practice in Social Work: From Learning to Action for Social Justice (pp. 23-27). Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work. Work Group #2: Knowledge Development, Transmission, and Application.

Storer, H. L., Mienko, J. A., Chang, Y.-L., Kang, J. Y., Miyawaki, C., & Schultz, K. (2012). Moving beyond dichotomies: How the intersection of race, class and place impacts high school graduation rates for African American studentsJournal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 39(1), 17-45.

Research interests: 
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Unemployment and Labor Studies
  • Social Safety Net Programs / Income and Work Supports
  • Policy Analysis
  • International Social Welfare


(510) 643-2786
Haviland Hall 332