Research Interests

I am an applied economist working at various junctures of public health, political economy, policy analysis. My primary interests are in the ways that people cope with conflict, political instability, and other forms of uncertainty. 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.

I draw actively on frameworks developed in psychology and sociology, especially as they relate to trauma (intergenerational and otherwise) and self-concept. My work is inherently highly interdisciplinary, and I co-author with colleagues from such departments as Sociology, Public Policy, and Geography. I am affiliated with the UW-Madison Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies program (LACIS), and the Gibbs Land Use and the Environment Lab (GLUE).

For the most up-to-date copy of my CV, please click here.

Job market paper

"Seeking safe harbors: Emergency domestic violence shelters and family violence." Latest draft available via email.

Refereed publications (available upon request)

Sims, K., Foltz, J., and M. Skidmore. (2021) "Prisons as drivers of COVID-19 spread in the United States." Forthcoming at the American Journal of Public Health.

Working papers (available upon request)

Skidmore, M., Sims, K., Gibbs, H., and L. Rausch. (2021) "Cattle slaughter age in the Brazilian Amazon: increased productivity and reduced carbon production" (In preparation).

Sims, K. (2021) "Turning a house into a home: delayed property rights and education investment decisions in urban Chile." (In preparation).

Works in Progress

"Prison proliferation and domestic violence" with John Major Eason and Isabel Anadon.

"Poverty and violence in US anti-poverty programs" with Yang Wang, Barbara Wolfe, and Licheng Xu.

"Health, climate, and agriculture: A case study of Brazil’s Amazon and Cerrado biomes" with Marin Elisabeth Skidmore and Holly K. Gibbs.