Kaitlyn Margaret Sims

Assistant Professor

What I do

I am an applied economist working at the intersection of public health, the economics of violence, and environmental health hazards. Broadly, I am interested in the ways that individuals cope with uncertainty and social turbulence, including housing insecurity, domestic violence, and poverty. My research includes data in all scales, including original data collection, "big" data and spatial analysis, program evaluation, and qualitative interviews.

My primary interests are in the ways that people cope with household uncertainties like domestic violence, housing insecurity, and poverty more broadly. My training is as an applied and development economist, with an emphasis on Latin America and the economic and social implications of the Chilean military dictatorship. As part of that research, I spent a summer as a visiting scholar at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. More recently, I have been working on understanding the relationship between institutional social support services like police and domestic violence programs on the incidence of violence within the household. I also have work on the environmental justice implications of deforestation policy in the Brazilian Amazon on health.


Applied economics; public health; public policy; crime

Professional Biography

I am an Assistant Professor of Microeconomics for Public Policy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Economics (with minors in Math and Political Science) from the Smittcamp Family Honors College at California State University, Fresno, in 2016. (Go 'Dawgs!) While there, I worked in public policy advocacy and developed policy statements for the California State Student Association (CSSA). My honors thesis with the Craig School of Business examined the effects of economic recessions on women's employment and labor force outcomes by bridging the theoretical literatures on business cycles and feminist economics. After graduation, I moved to Madison, WI, where I received my PhD (2022) and MSc (2019) in Agricultural and Applied Economics.


  • Ph.D., Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2022
  • MS, Agricultural and Applied Economcis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2019
  • BA, Economics, California State University, Fresno, 2016

Key Projects

  • Evaluation of the Domestic Violence Housing First Pilot Program


  • Cozzarrelli Prize Finalist -- Class V, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences