Michalopoulos is an expert on methods for studying social policies for low-income families. His most recent work focuses on the field of home visiting, as he is co-leading two national studies of home visiting programs for disadvantaged mothers. In recent years, he also led studies of the effects of coordinated care programs for high-cost Medicaid recipients in Colorado and New York, studied the effects of telephonic care management for depressed Medicaid recipients in Rhode Island, and was co-principal investigator for the Accelerated Benefits Demonstration, a study of the effects of offering health care coverage to newly uninsured recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. His other work has included studies of financial work incentives for welfare recipients, child care subsidy policies, and programs that aim to strengthen the marriages of low-income couples. Among his publications are several reports and articles synthesizing the effects of welfare and work policies, employment and training programs, and financial incentives for work. Michalopoulos earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech.