Associate Professor,

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Contact Information:

Department of Consumer Science

School of Human Ecology

Nancy Nicholas Hall Room 4228

1300 Linden Drive

Madison, WI 53706


Phone: 608.262.2831 


Dr. Fitzpatrick joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2023. Her primary field of interest is consumer finance, with a specific focus on financial services for low-income households and means-tested tax and transfer programs. Her research has been published in the National Tax Journal, the Southern Economic Journal, the Journal of Consumer Affairs, the Social Service Review, and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. With her co-authors, she won the Musgrave Prize for the best paper published in the National Tax Journal in 2010 and was a Frank R. Breul Memorial Prize finalist in 2015 for the best paper published in the Social Service Review. She was also a finalist for the best paper published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs in 2016.

Her current work focuses on the use of mainstream and alternative financial institutions; the effects of the Medicaid expansion on household well-being; the role of state-level policies in increasing participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and, how policy can reduce food insecurity. She is a Research Fellow with the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin. Her work has been supported by the Russell Sage Foundation, the University of Wisconsin Retirement and Disability Research Center (RDRC), the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) , the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, the Filene Research Institute, and the FDIC Center for Financial Research. 

Prior to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Fitzpatrick was an Associate Professor at the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware, an Associate Professor of Economics at Seattle University, an Economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) and served as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. She has conducted research at the Health Policy Institute, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, and the Brookings Institution.   

Dr. Fitzpatrick holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University, a M.P.P. in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Syracuse University.  She frequently co-authors with her sister, Dr. Anne Fitzpatrick, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Boston.