Irma Arteaga

Arteaga photo
Working Title
Associate Professor
People Type
241 Middlebush Hall

PhD in Applied Economics from University of Minnesota

Master in Public Policy from University of Minnesota

Research Emphasis

Early Childhood Policy; Program Evaluation; Development Economics


Dr. Arteaga is an Associate Professor at the Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri. She earned a Master in Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota. She received the Jernberg Fellowship, the Mary and Robert Litterman Fellowship and the Graduate School Fellowship to support her studies.  Her research seeks to understand the consequences of early childhood investments over the life course. As such, she conducts policy-relevant research that sits at the boundaries of economics, developmental psychology, early childhood, education, public health, and public policy. Specifically, Dr. Arteaga examines the role of contextual factors and program dosage, intensity, and components on children’s well-being. Her research agenda has three dominant themes: analysis of the short-term effects of early childhood interventions and program delivery on children’s well-being, analysis of the long-term effects of child policy on children’s well-being, and analysis of early childhood investments in the developing world.

Dr. Arteaga’s work has been funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through different entities: USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) via its cooperative agreement, USDA through the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, and USDA ERS through the Institute for Research on Poverty, RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research. The World Bank, Parents as Teachers National Center, and the MU Research Board have also funded her work. She has given advice to the governments of Guatemala and Panama on the design of health programs that aimed to reduce maternal and infant mortality for rural and indigenous population.

Dr. Arteaga works with interdisciplinary teams, conducts, and publishes research using primary data, secondary datasets, and state administrative data. She uses rigorous quantitative evaluation techniques and has extensive experience and expertise on program evaluations including longitudinal evaluations and dosage effects of early childhood preschool programs (e.g., Chicago Child-Parent Center, Missouri Head Start Programs, Mississippi Building Blocks). She has also examined the effects of the Women, Infant, and Children Program and the National School Lunch program on food insecurity and child’s cognitive outcomes during children’s transition into the school system. Dr. Arteaga is currently studying the effects of two early childhood stimulation programs in Guatemala using a randomized control trial on more than 100 communities with a sample of more than 2,000 children. She is also working on two other projects with US data that examine how linguistic accommodations for young English language learners and changes in Title III policy (that targets limited English proficiency) affect children’s outcomes. Her work has been published in various journals including Science, Social Science & Medicine, Economics of Education Review, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Population Research and Policy Review, and Children and Youth Services Review, among others.

Courses Taught

Early Childhood Policy

Public Policy Analysis

Economic Analysis for Public Affairs

Advanced Research Methods II (Applied Econometrics)

Selected Publications

Arteaga, Irma, and Paul Glewwe. “Do community factors matter? An analysis of the achievement gap between indigenous and non-indigenous children in Peru.” International Journal of Educational Development 65 (2019):  80-91.

Arteaga, Irma, C. Heflin, and L. Hodges.   “SNAP Benefits and Pregnancy-Related Emergency Room Visits.” Population Research and Policy Review (2018): 1-22.

Arteaga, Irma, C. Heflin, and S. Parsons. “Design Flaws: Consequences of the Coverage Gap in Food Programs on Children at Kindergarten Entry.” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (2018): ppy009,

Arteaga, Irma, Stephanie Potochnick, and Sarah Parsons. “Decomposing the Household Food Insecurity Gap for Children of U.S.-Born and Foreign-Born Hispanics: Evidence from 1998 and 2011.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (2017): 1-9.

Arteaga, Irma, Colleen Heflin, and Sara Gable. “The Impact of Aging out of WIC on Food Security in Households with Children.” Children and Youth Services Review 69 (2016): 82–96.

Arteaga, Irma, S. Humpage, A. Reynolds, and J. Temple. “One Year of Preschool or Two: Does It Matter for Adult Outcomes? Results from the Chicago Longitudinal Study of the Child-Parent Centers.” Economics of Education Review 40 (2014): 221–237.