Texas Policy Evaluation Project
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Joseph E. Potter, Professor of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin - Principal Investigator

Joe PotterContact: joe@prc.utexas.edu 

Joseph Potter, who holds a doctorate in economics from Princeton University, is a demographer with expertise in the design and analysis of surveys, as well as social policy evaluation. Potter coordinates all project components and leads TxPEP’s studies of postpartum contraception, the impact of changes in family planning funding on births, abortions, and contraceptive use.

Much of his research over the last three decades has addressed fertility and contraceptive practice in Mexico and Brazil—two countries that have experienced dramatic demographic transitions during the last four decades. From 2006 to 2011, Joe led the Border Contraceptive Access Study (BCAS). This NIH funded project addressed the “natural experiment” that exists in El Paso, Texas where women may access the pill either in pharmacies without a prescription (across the border), or through family planning clinics in El Paso. The research took place simultaneously with an earlier round of cuts in state funding for family planning.

Joe has been at UT since 1989, and teaches courses on demographic methods and the evaluation of social policies. Outside the office, he may be found cycling, playing with grandchildren, or fly-fishing in Montana.