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Current Research Programs

The Russell Sage Foundation currently provides support to scholars at other institutions to pursue research projects that advance the Foundation’s objectives in five main research areas: the Future of Work, Immigration, Cultural Contact, Social Inequality, and Behavioral Economics. In addition to the activities sponsored under our main programs, the Foundation also supports a range of special initiatives focused on other issues of current importance. For more detailed information on each of these programs, please choose your area of interest below.
 

The Foundation’s Behavioral Economics program supports research that incorporates the insights of psychology and other social sciences into the study of economic behavior. Launched jointly with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 1986, the program was instrumental in the development of this new interdisciplinary field. The Foundation now channels much of its support for behavioral economics through the Behavioral Economics Roundtable, a consortium of leading researchers in the field which provides a small grants program for exploratory research, a two-week summer workshop for younger scholars, and a book series for major works in behavioral economics. The program’s current major initiative is a working group on consumer finance, which aims to use behavioral economics methods to analyze consumer financial decision-making.

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CALL FOR PAPERS
RSF Conference for Early-Career Behavioral Economists
Chicago, IL | July 8-9, 2015

 
On July 8-9, 2015, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) will sponsor a Conference for Early-Career Behavioral Economists in Chicago.
 
The Russell Sage Foundation is the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences. Located in New York City, it is a research center, a funding source for studies by scholars at other academic and research institutions, and an active member of the nation's social science community. The Foundation was an early force in the development of behavioral economics, launching its Behavioral Economics program in 1986. In 1992, RSF established the Behavioral Economics Roundtable, which now includes 28 prominent behavioral economists, six of whom have received the Nobel Prize in Economics. For more information, please visit www.russellsage.org.
 
The conference venue is generously provided by the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago. The Center, founded in 1977, has helped pioneer an effort to use science to explain inconsistencies between actual and theoretically rational human behavior.
 
Objective
The goal of this conference is to allow researchers at the early stages of their career to present their work and receive feedback from peers and junior faculty members, who will serve as discussants. It will also help develop a strong community of junior behavioral economists. Eligibility Any interested early-career behavioral economist can apply. This includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and Assistant Professors who received their Ph.D. after Spring 2010. We expect to select about 20 presenters.
 
Costs
There is no conference fee. Conference meals will be covered for all invited participants. In cases where financial assistance is not available from a researcher’s university, the Foundation will reimburse hotel and economy class travel expenses for presenters and discussants. The following travel caps for airfare and ground transportation are likely to apply: $1,000 from Europe and $350 from North America other than the Midwest. For presenters from the Midwest, the Foundation will cover hotel costs only. We will coordinate hotel reservations for participants whose expenses are being covered by the Foundation. Due to funding constraints, participants will be assigned to shared rooms (2 participants/room with 2 double beds).
 
How to Apply
Please submit an abstract of about 1,000 words of the proposed paper and an abbreviated CV (5 pages max.) by January 31, 2015 to ecbe2015@gmail.com. If financial assistance is needed in order for you to participate, please provide details in a cover letter, including whether your university may provide funding to cover some of your expenses. The organizing committee will review all submissions under the supervision of Prof. Emir Kamenica and Prof. Devin Pope (University of Chicago). Selected participants will be notified by March 1, 2015. For information about the conference, contact ecbe2015@gmail.com or visit our website: https://sites.google.com/site/ecbeconference.
 
The Organizing Committee
Kai Barron, University College London
Teodora Boneva, University of Cambridge
Stephanie Heger, Washington University in St. Louis
Paolina Medina-Palma, Northwestern University
Silvia Saccardo, University of California San Diego
 

The Foundation’s Cultural Contact program is concerned with understanding and improving relations between racial and ethnic groups in schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and other key institutional settings. Founded in 1992, the program has examined the effectiveness of diversity training and affirmative action in work places and on college campuses. It has also sponsored a series of working groups looking at how the American legal, education, and health care systems are responding to increased ethnic and cultural diversity. The current working groups address two new areas: the interaction between police and minorities, and the cultural frictions between immigrants and local residents in new areas of immigrant settlement.

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The Future of Work program examines the causes and consequences of the deteriorating quality of low-wage jobs in the United States. Projects sponsored by the program have examined a wide range of causal factors, from foreign outsourcing and immigration to the decline of unions and technological change, that may have depressed wages of low-education workers. More recently, the Foundation commissioned a series of industry surveys and case studies of low-wage work in the United States and Europe to gain a more detailed picture of how changing competitive pressures are affecting the organization of work within firms and the quality of jobs available to high school educated workers. The current major research initiative funds an in-depth examination of the provision of care to children and the elderly, an expanding field of low-wage work in the U.S.

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Since 1991, the Foundation’s Immigration program has looked beyond the immediate costs and benefits of immigration to the United States to examine how well immigrants and their children are adapting socially, politically, and economically. To assess the long-range progress of today’s immigrants, the program sponsored three large-scale surveys of second-generation immigrants to address a series of questions, including English proficiency, job history, and marriage patterns. Currently, the program has turned to two new areas of research: one on the entry of immigrants into the civic and political life of the nation, and another exploring how immigrants fare as they settle in new destinations outside traditional gateway cities.

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Since 2001, the Foundation’s Social Inequality program has examined the social and political consequences of rising economic inequality. The program has investigated a variety of areas of social life, from education and health care to intergenerational mobility, to determine whether the increasing financial gap between the rich and poor has also exacerbated social inequalities of the kind that amplify and entrench economic differences. Recently, the program has turned to in-depth examinations of two key institutions the United States relies on to counteract market-driven inequality: public education and the democratic electoral system.

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