Grant Program

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a new, non-partisan organization housed at the Center for American Progress that seeks to work with academics and policymakers to develop a new vision for achieving economic growth—one that is supported by research, grounded in rigorous analysis, and compelling enough to spark policy debate.
Our grant program will support a number of lines of inquiry that examine many different types of evidence and cut across academic fields. Our goal is to build a portfolio of projects that address specific aspects of this question, investigating individual channels through which inequality may affect growth, but we will also consider projects that directly explore the question of how inequality affects growth. In each category listed below we encourage researchers to consider the effects of public policies on both economic growth and inequality.

The areas in which we are currently requesting proposals are:

Does inequality affect macroeconomic and financial imbalances and if so, how? We are interested in proposals that explore how the composition and distribution of income affect consumption and saving decisions, as well as the distribution of income between factors and among sectors of the economy.

Does the level of inequality affect how the next generation of entrepreneurs is incubated and if so, how? We are interested in proposals that explore how inequality impacts the development of entrepreneurs, including issues related to financial security, access to credit, appetite for risk, education and training, and macroeconomic stability.

Does the level of inequality affect governance of the economic commons and if so, how? We are interested in proposals that explore the relationship between inequality and the quality of socio-political institutions contributing to growth: political polarization, governance, civic engagement, social trust, and rent-seeking and regulatory capture.

Does the level of inequality affect the development of human capital and the potential for talent to emerge from across the income distribution and if so, how? We are interested in proposals that explore questions about inequality and the development of human capital, including but not limited to mobility, educational outcomes, non-cognitive abilities, and the ability of individuals to match their skills and talent to appropriate occupations.

These topics represent the primary research interests of WCEG at present. However, we are willing to entertain exceptional proposals on other issues related to equitable growth. We are particularly interested in proposals that support data collection, draw on interdisciplinary research, and/or study the effects of inequality on individual economic behavior in any of the categories listed above.

Grants will normally be in the range of $25,000 to $125,000, though we will also entertain smaller proposals up to $15,000 from graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, as well as proposals for larger grants for exceptional projects.

To apply for a grant, please submit a WCEG coversheet with a letter of inquiry no longer than three pages detailing your proposed project, including a timeline for completion of the project and expected outcome, as well as an outline of your proposed budget in a separate document.

For complete instructions on submitting your proposal, please review How to Apply.

Letters of inquiry and all accompanying materials should be sent to by February 1, 2014.

If you have questions about a proposal, please contact