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

Reset

How does capital investment affect workers? Evidence from bonus depreciation and matched employer-employee data

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $55,000

Grant Type: academic

The extent to which capital and labor are substitutes and how this substitutability shapes worker outcomes is a key determinant of economic inequality. This project proposes to study the effect of bonus depreciation on worker outcomes using employer-employee matched Census data in order to understand whether capital investments in the form of new technologies are replacing workers and whether the impact is different for workers of various skill levels.

Market design responses to inequality

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $29,400

Grant Type: academic

Much of the theory of market design operates in two extreme environments: One where monetary transfers are prohibited, and one where there are transfers but each individual values one dollar in the same way. This research seeks to understand how to optimally design goods markets in the presence of wealth inequality and is conducted across three discrete research papers. The first project develops an analytic framework for a middle ground where agents are wealth constrained or have income effects. The second project develops a continuous-time model of dynamic capital taxation, and the third project considers dynamic effects of inequality using formal models.

Work as an option: Effects of unpredictable and unstable schedules on earnings, mobility, and skills

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $15,000

Grant Type: doctoral

This research asks whether employers compensate workers for the implicit option of unpredictable and unstable schedules. It will use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort, to analyze the labor market effects of unpredictable and unstable schedules. The project will focus on identifying marginal effects while controlling for observed and unobserved heterogeneity using fixed-effects or first-difference specifications.

Workers in the board room: The causal effects of shared governance

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $55,000

Grant Type: academic

Whether and how to involve workers in decision-making at the workplace is a fundamental question of the organization of firms and economies more broadly. This project proposes to use a novel research design to study a 1994 reform in Germany that sharply abolished employee board representation in newly incorporated firms with fewer than 500 workers in order to analyze the effects of shared governance on a variety of firm and worker-level outcomes, including wages, distribution of profits, and inequality of pay within a firm. The authors will use a regression discontinuity design that exploits the 1994 reform, supplemented with a difference-in-difference approach that compares changes among shareholder firms to changes among nonshareholder firms that were never subject to co-determination and thus were not affected by the reform. This will allow them to control for general economic trends that may have impacted firm and worker outcomes around the timing of the reform.

Getting labor markets right: Occupational mobility and outside options

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $15,000

Grant Type: doctoral

How does the availability of job options outside workers’ own occupations affect their labor market outcomes? This project uses Burning Glass data to define labor markets by the probabilistic occupational transitions that workers make. The research looks at the likelihood that a worker switches occupations based on location and other job determinants. In addition, the researchers will study differences based on the industrial composition of a location, local labor market shocks, and race and gender analyses, thus deepening our understanding of workers’ outside options in regard to the impact of labor market concentration.

Federal financial aid and postsecondary success for low-income students

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $15,000

Grant Type: doctoral

This research will investigate how low-income and first-generation students respond financially and academically to financial aid austerity by exploiting a 2011 change that the U.S. Congress made to Pell grant eligibility that affected nearly 286,000 students. As a result, an estimated 12,000 students were eliminated from eligibility for a Pell grant, and 274,000 students received fewer grant dollars. The project will estimate the impact of this sudden unexpected loss in financial aid on college attendance, financial aid, and labor supply outcomes for low-income college students using a combination of restricted-use data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students survey and the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. The researcher will use the panel nature of the data to track changes in outcomes for students from one academic year to the next. A regression discontinuity design will be employed to estimate the causal effect of the loss on various educational and labor market outcomes.

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?

View

Funded research

Macroeconomic Policy

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

View

Funded research

Market Structure

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

View

Funded research

The Labor Market

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

View