Funded Research

Our funding interests are organized around the following four drivers of economic growth: macroeconomic policy, market structure, the labor market, and human capital. We consider proposals that investigate the consequences of economic inequality, as well as group dimensions of inequality; the causes of inequality to the extent that understanding these causal pathways will help us identify and understand key channels through which inequality may affect growth and stability; and the ways in which public policies affect the relationship between inequality and growth.

Explore the Grants We've Awarded

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Employer-employee discordance in awareness and perceived accessibility of paid family and medical leave

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $80,000

Grant Type: academic

This project examines the level of alignment between employer and employee beliefs about the accessibility of paid leave. It takes advantage of a unique data source, The Shift Project, which samples low-wage, service-sector workers from within a set of large retail and food service employers across the United States and allows the team to match employee responses with individual employers. The research will pair quantitative analyses of Shift Project data and in-depth interview data from interviews with twenty human resources staff members at firms in the sample to provide important information about how employer practices may mediate awareness and take-up of paid leave benefits.

Employers and Paid Leave: Assessing the Interdependencies between State-level Mandates, Medical Leave, and Voluntary Provisions of Paid Leave

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $80,000

Grant Type: academic

This project will examine the effect of both state-provided paid medical leave and city- and state-level sick pay mandates on the provision of paid leave. The proposed project will use restricted-use National Compensation Survey data with geographic identifiers and a difference-in-differences approach to determine whether employers react to the mandated provision of sick leave and state paid leave social insurance programs by reducing their voluntary provision of medical leave, private group disability insurance, and other forms of paid leave such as family leave. No other study has comprehensively studied the interactions and interdependencies of state-level sick pay mandates, employer provisions of paid leave, and state-run medical leave systems.

Paid Family Leave and Work Eldercare Tradeoffs

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $27,500

Grant Type: academic

This project seeks to understand how access to paid family leave influences the provision of eldercare and labor market outcomes among individuals in midlife and whether the effects vary by individual and care recipient characteristics. To examine these issues, the research team will pool data from 11 waves of the Health and Retirement Survey to examine the experiences of respondents aged 51 to 65 with at least one living parent. They will survey responses to determine the intensity of caregiving provided, as well as the intensity of labor force participation, and use a difference-in-differences approach to compare the experiences of individuals residing in states with operational paid leave social insurance programs (California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) to those who reside elsewhere.

Access to Paid Caregiving and the Impact on Financial Security, Employment, and Public Program Use of Non-Elderly Adults in the United States

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $80,000

Grant Type: academic

This research projects aims to identify the characteristics of individuals who have a family member who experiences the onset of disability or health shock but lack access to paid caregiving leave. The investigators will also estimate the impact of access to paid caregiving leave on financial security and employment for this group of individuals. The research team will use data from the National Compensation Survey to develop a machine-learning classification model that will be used to determine the likelihood that individuals observed in the Survey of Income and Program Participation have access to paid leave. This novel technique overcomes limitations of existing data sources that have hamstrung previous research efforts and poises the project to make a significant contribution to the small but growing body of research on caregiving leave.

The Opt-Out Mechanism for Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance: Could it Work?

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $35,000

Grant Type: academic

This project seeks to determine the feasibility of a paid family and medical leave insurance (PFMLI) program with an opt-out mechanism. While state PFMLI programs in the United States vary somewhat in program parameters, all essentially require eligible workers to participate and are funded through payroll contributions. Some allow employers to self-insure and opt out of the public program. Generally, employees do not have that option. But proposed legislation in New Hampshire would create a program that contains an employee opt-out mechanism. There is a large gap in understanding of this design choice. Which individuals would opt out? And which would opt out initially and then opt in later? And how would that interact with the employer self-insurance opt-out? The answers have lasting implications for the cost of the program, the level of benefits that can be offered, the possibility of implicit or explicit bias against low-wage women workers of reproductive age, and the ultimate success of the program. The researcher will create, distribute, and analyze a survey of New Hampshire workers in an effort to predict their behavior if such a program were to be implemented.

The Impact of Work-Family Legislation on Business: The Case of New York City’s Paid Sick Days Law

Grant Year: 2014

Grant Amount: $20,150

Grant Type: academic

This project seeks to identify the impact of workforce characteristics on the employer costs of implementing paid leave policies. The researchers will perform an empirical examination of the way New York City’s paid sick days law has affected covered businesses. They will undertake an employer survey of 350 firms, analyze the impact of workforce characteristics on costs, firm profitability, the share of the workforce that has access to paid sick days, and on the number of paid sick days available to specific categories of workers before and after the law.

Funded research

Human Capital

How does economic inequality affect the development of human capital, and to what extent do aggregate trends in human capital explain inequality dynamics?

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Funded research

Macroeconomic Policy

What are the implications of inequality on the long-term stability of our economy and its growth potential?

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Funded research

Market Structure

Are markets becoming less competitive and, if so, why, and what are the larger implications?

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Funded research

The Labor Market

How does the labor market affect equitable growth? How does inequality in turn affect the labor market?

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