Washington Center for Equitable Growth awards more than $1 million to scholars exploring how economic inequality affects economic growth

New research will focus on inequality’s effects on human capital, tax policy, market concentration, and the labor market

Washington, D.C. – The Washington Center for Equitable Growth announced today that it will award more than $1 million across nearly 30 grants to economists and social scientists investigating whether and how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability.

“Through our grantmaking program, we have supported data-driven research on some of the most entrenched challenges of our time, with the goal of promoting an economy that delivers strong, stable, and broadly shared economic growth,” said Equitable Growth President and CEO Heather Boushey. “Equitable Growth is pleased to continue to support scholars dedicated to asking important questions about how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability.”

To date, Equitable Growth has seeded nearly $5 million to nearly 200 scholars. In 2019, 14 grants were awarded to faculty and 13 grants to doctoral students at universities across the United States. Awards in this year’s grant cycle total $1,064,000, an increase of nearly 19 percent from 2018, including additional funding from the Russell Sage Foundation.

Grant categories include:

  • Human capital, including the effect of economic inequality on the development of human potential
  • Macroeconomic policy, including the effects of monetary, fiscal, and tax policy on inequality and growth
  • Market structure, including the causes of increased concentration and consequences for productivity, growth, labor markets, and power
  • The labor market, including the effect of inequality on the smooth functioning of the labor market and the gains from labor

In particular, Equitable Growth is interested in research that uses government or new and innovative data sources to shed light on important economic questions.

“This year’s grantees will explore a wide range of topics, from how policymakers should regulate markets when wealth inequality is high to the long-term impact of social safety net programs on parents and children,” said Greg Leiserson, Equitable Growth chief economist and director of Tax Policy. “These research projects will improve our understanding of the economy and of the types of policies that can ensure that prosperity is broadly shared.”

Equitable Growth’s academic grants are open to researchers affiliated with a U.S. university, and its doctoral grants are open to graduate students currently enrolled in a U.S. doctoral program. For more information on the grants awarded in 2019, click here. To view the 2019 Request for Proposals, click here. The 2020 Request for Proposals will be released in November 2019.

Full descriptions of the 2019 grants and a profile of each grantee can be found on the Equitable Growth website: human capital, macroeconomic policy, market 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 26, 2019

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