Equitable Growth awards more than $1 million to explore how inequality affects economic growth and stability

2022 grants strengthen research base on racial stratification, with focus on economic well-being for workers and families

Katie Wilcoxson, kwilcoxson@equitablegrowth.org

WASHINGTON – The Washington Center for Equitable Growth announced today it will award research grants totaling more than $1 million to investigate how inequality affects economic growth and stability.

“Each and every one of our grantees plays a critical role in deepening our understanding of the economy’s past and present, as well as informing how we can build a more equitable economy for tomorrow,” said Kate Bahn, Equitable Growth’s chief economist and director of labor market policy. “Our academic grants program lies at the heart of our mission to foster strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth through research-backed policymaking, and we are honored to continue to support scholars doing this invaluable work.”

2022 marks Equitable Growth’s ninth cycle of academic grantmaking, and the organization has seeded more than $8.8 million to nearly 350 scholars through its competitive grants program since its founding in 2013. The 42 grantees who will participate in this year’s funded research are economists and social scientists who currently serve as faculty or are postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. students at U.S. colleges and universities, as well as scholars from government research agencies.

Equitable Growth’s funding is guided by four channels through which economic growth is produced and distributed:

  • Human capital and well-being, including the effect of economic inequality on the development of human potential
  • The labor market, including the effect of inequality on the smooth functioning of the labor market and the distribution of the gains from labor
  • Macroeconomic policy, including the effects of monetary, fiscal, and tax policy on inequality and growth
  • Market structure, including the existence and causes of increased concentration, consequences for growth, and effectiveness of policy tools to address it

This year’s grant awards place an emphasis on the production of innovative new data resources, with a particular focus on the impact of fiscal policy on economic well-being. Funded projects include support for the creation of new data on state-by-state Unemployment Insurance law, a national repository of municipal-level policies, and the most comprehensive dataset available yet on worker strikes. The Russell Sage Foundation provided generous financial support for research on social and economic inequalities and their effect on economic outcomes. Equitable Growth is grateful for the continued collaboration with the Russell Sage Foundation, one of the preeminent funders of social science research.

“Year after year, our grantees produce creative, cutting-edge data that help shape the answers to our most pressing economic policy questions,” said Jonathan Fisher, Equitable Growth’s research advisor. “Our 2022 cohort embodies this tradition of innovation, rigor, and excellence, and we are thrilled to welcome them into our academic network.”

In addition, Equitable Growth deepened its commitment to support the study of the role race and ethnicity plays in inequality in the United States, as well as strengthening the pipeline of early-career scholars of color. The 2022 RFP included a call for research that directly examines structural racism and policy solutions to combat it. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided generous financial support for research on economic mobility and access to opportunity in the United States.

“What’s particularly compelling in this year’s funded research is the focus on testing empirically when and how bias, discrimination, and exclusion interact with collective action and other forms of worker power to generate differential outcomes both for productivity and for workers’ wage outcomes and economic mobility,” added Byron Auguste, CEO of Opportunity@Work and a member of Equitable Growth’s Steering Committee. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the work of this year’s grantees will help effect changes in understanding and policy.”

Equitable Growth’s academic grants program is open to researchers affiliated with a U.S. university, and its doctoral grants are open to graduate students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at a U.S. university. For more information on the grants awarded in 2022, click here.

To view the 2022 Request for Proposals, click here. Equitable Growth’s 2023 Request for Proposals will be released in November 2022.

Full descriptions of the 2022 grants and a profile of each grantee can be found on the Equitable Growth website: human capital and well-beingmacroeconomic policymarket structure, and the labor market.


The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a nonprofit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. For more information, see www.equitablegrowth.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @equitablegrowth.

August 30, 2022


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