My primary research interest is in using complex data from survey and administrative sources to investigate how family structures impact economic wellbeing of individuals and households, particularly those at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities. I have two distinct strands of research that have stemmed from this interest. During my PhD, I studied economic wellbeing, employment, and time-use of divorced mothers before and after a divorce occurred, and how this changed with the amount of time their children spent at their home after divorce. In my postdoctoral research at the Institute for Research on Poverty, I am focusing on the economic wellbeing of low-income families, particularly the role of debt in the financial portfolio of such families, the extent to which low income debt differs from mainstream debt, and its interaction with public policy and family structures. 

Creating and fielding primary survey instruments has been an integral part of both my doctoral and postdoctoral research. My dissertation work involved collaborating with IRP researchers to create and field a survey instrument that collected data on how shared physical custody arrangements work for the living arrangements, finances, and wellbeing of divorced families in Wisconsin in the long-term after a divorce occurs. I have subsequently led several projects that have used these data. A major part of my postdoctoral responsibilities include collaborating on creating a novel survey instrument which will collect data on debt held by low-income households in the greater Milwaukee region of Wisconsin. 

I have used administrative data on earnings and program participation  extensively in my work, both as primary data sources but mostly after linking them to data collected through primary surveys. Although my work is primarily quantitative, I have used qualitative data from large-scale surveys as well as interview transcripts in mixed methods study designs. 

My work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, appeared on policy reports to State departments in Wisconsin, and featured in the media. I list the products from this work below. 

Peer Reviewed Articles

Haapanen M., Chanda T., Riser Q. H., Miettinen A., Bartfeld J., Hakovirta M. Children’s living arrangements and mothers’ economic well-being post-separation: Can shared care alleviate separated mother’s economic difficulties in Finland and the United States. Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Bartfeld J., Chanda T. (2023). Economic outcomes of shared placement among divorced mothers in Wisconsin. Social Service Review. 97(4), 000-000.

Chanda T. (2022). Economic wellbeing and labor supply patterns of subsequently divorcing mothers in Wisconsin. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. 44(4), 821-835.

Mukhopadhyay, S., Chanda T. (2022). Abused but “not insulted”: Understanding intersectionality in symbolic violence. Indian Journal of Human Development, 16(1):119-138.

Heckman S., Robb,C., & Chanda T. (2022). Excess credits and labor market outcomes: Is there a return on additional hours of education? College Student Journal, 56(1), 12-28.

Work in Progress

  “Risky Consumer Debt Holding and Child Welfare System Involvement”, with Lawrence Berger and Rachel Dwyer

'First phone call is usually family':  Borrowing from Friends and Family Among Low-Income Households”, with Jason Houle, Lisa Klein Vogel, Lawrence Berger, and Rachel Dwyer. 

“Does divorce lead to lower maternal time investments in children? A longitudinal study using the PSID CDS.” 

“Recent trends and determinants of children’s post-separation living arrangements: evidence from Wisconsin”, with Jungjin Koo and Judith Bartfeld

“Child Placement and Mothers' Long-Term Post-Divorce Circumstances: An Examination of Objective and Subjective Economic Well-Being”, with Judith Bartfeld 

Stability of Placement Arrangements Among Divorced Wisconsin Mothers with Sole Mother and Shared Placement Orders”, with Judith Bartfeld 

Policy Reports

Bartfeld, J., Chanda, T., Berger, LM., Riser, QH. (2023). Shared Placement, Child Support Payments, and Sharing of Child-Related Expenses: Overview and Mothers’ Perception of Fairness. Report to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Bartfeld J., Chanda, T. (2022). Child Support, Child Placement, Repartnering, and Divorced Mothers’ Objective and Subjective Economic Well-being: Insights from Combining Survey and Administrative Data. Report to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Bartfeld, J., Chanda, T., Berger, LM. (2021). Stability Of Placement Arrangements Among Divorced Wisconsin Families With Sole Mother And Shared Placement Orders. Report to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Berger, LM., Riser, QH., Bartfeld, J., Chanda, T. (2021). Satisfaction With Placement Arrangements Among Divorced Wisconsin Families With Sole Mother And Shared Placement Orders. Report to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Bartfeld, J., Chanda, T. (2020). Shared Placement and Post-Divorce Economic Well-Being. Report to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison.