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RSF Research Programs

The Russell Sage Foundation dedicates itself exclusively to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies.

Programs

  • A program of research on Social Inequality focused on whether rising economic inequality has affected social, political, and economic institutions in the U.S., and the extent to which increased inequality has affected equality of opportunity, social mobility, and the intergenerational transmission of advantage.
  • A program on Behavioral Economics focused on research that incorporates insights of psychology into the study of economic behavior, with a particular focus on improving consumer financial decision making.
  • A program of research on the Future of Work concerned primarily with examining the causes and consequences of the declining quality of jobs for less- and moderately-educated workers in the U.S. economy and the role of changes in employer practices, the nature of the labor market and public policies on the employment, earnings, and the quality of jobs of American workers. 
  • A program of research on current U.S. Immigration  that examines social, economic, political, and community changes in the context of contemporary immigration and the role of race, nativity and legal status on the prospects for integration of immigrants and their children.
  • A program of research on Cultural Contact concerned with the effects of cultural difference on the ways in which different groups in the population understand and interact with one another, with particular attention to the response of U.S. economic, social, political, and other institutions to increasing diversity in the U.S. population.

Working Groups

  • A working group in the Social Inequality program examining the mechanisms through which economic elites influence politics, and the relationship between money, politics, and inequality.
  • A working group in the Cultural Contact program on the impact of racial, ethnic, and gender-based attitudes on law enforcement. The group is working with metropolitan police departments across the U.S. to develop policies to reduce racial bias in law enforcement.
  • A working group in the Behavioral Economics program exploring consumers' financial decision-making and how government regulation might protect them from financial products and services that endanger their financial well-being.
  • A working group in the Cultural Contact program examines immigrant life outside of customary gateway cities such as New York, Miami, or Los Angeles, with an emphasis on the cultural frictions resulting from the rapid growth of the foreign-born population in the United States at a time of high economic uncertainty and political polarization.
  • A working group in the Future of Work program on the social and economic implications of how care (child care, elder care, care for the disabled) is provided to dependent populations in the United States today.

Special Initiatives

  • A website that reports on the social and economic condition of the country as revealed by the 2010 census and related national surveys.
  • A special project to track and analyze the social consequences of the Great Recession.
  • A working group on the Obama administration's efforts to reorient U.S. public policies in a number of key areas, such as health care, education, and financial regulation.