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RSF Bulletin

New Book: Starving the Beast

Since the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have consistently championed tax cuts for individuals and businesses, regardless of whether the economy is booming or in recession or whether the federal budget is in surplus or deficit. In Starving the Beast: Ronald Reagan and the Tax Cut Revolution, sociologist Monica Prasad analyzes the origins of the GOP’s persistent focus on tax cuts.

Drawing on thorough archival research, Prasad traces the history of the 1981 “supply side” tax cut, which remains the cornerstone for Republican domestic economic policy. She demonstrates that the main impetus behind this tax cut was not pressure from business groups, racial animus, or a belief that tax cuts would pay for themselves. Rather, the tax cut emerged because Republicans believed that following World War II, Democrats had created a durable power structure that provided government benefits to many Americans that enabled them to unify a fractious coalition of farmers, workers, and African Americans and retain control of Congress. The Republican party saw tax cuts as an opportunity to erode Democratic power and provide Republicans with a way to offer something other than government benefits. Once the resulting deficits were financed by selling government bonds to foreign purchasers, the Republican Party transformed from being the party of fiscal rectitude into one whose main domestic goal was reducing taxes. One party promotes government programs to appeal to voters and the other promotes tax cuts, but neither has been able to generate electoral coalitions to address other pressing political and economic problems. Starving the Beast thus reveals ongoing challenges to contemporary American democracy.

Read more or purchase a copy of the book.


RSF Announces New Margaret Olivia Sage Scholars

The Russell Sage Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Margaret Olivia Sage (MOS) scholars: economist Greg Duncan (University of California, Irvine), political scientist Jane Mansbridge (Harvard University), and sociologist Mary Waters (Harvard University). MOS scholars are nominated and selected by the foundation’s board of trustees on the basis of their outstanding career accomplishments. The three scholars will be in residence during either the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic years.

Read the full announcement.


Research Grants Approved at November 2018 Trustee Meeting

At their November 2018 meeting, RSF’s trustees approved three grants in the Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration and Social Inequality programs, and seven grants in RSF;s special initiatives on the Social, Economic, and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act, Immigration and Immigrant Integration, Computational Social Science, and Integrating Biology and Social Science Knowledge.

View the full list of grants.


New Funding Opportunity: Special Initiative on Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context

The Russell Sage Foundation is launching a special initiative on Decision Making and Human Behavior in Context that will support innovative research by scholars in psychology, political science, sociology, and other social science fields on decision making processes and human behavior in the contexts of work, race, ethnicity, immigration, and social, political and economic inequality in the U.S. This initiative complements RSF’s long-standing Behavioral Economics (BE) Program which continues to encourage the submission of proposals. The first LOI deadline will be May 23, 2019 at 2pmET/11am PT.

Read more about the new initiative and apply for funding.


New Small Grants Program in Computational Social Science for Early Career Researchers

RSF is launching a small grants program in its special initiative on Computational Social Science. The initiative supports innovative social science research by early career researchers that utilizes new data and methods to advance our understanding of the research issues that comprise the foundations core programs. RSF is primarily interested in research that explores and improves our understanding of social, psychological, political and economic outcomes. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2019 at 2pm ET/11 am PT.

Read more or submit an application.


Upcoming Deadlines for RSF’s 2019 Summer Institutes

RSF will offer several summer institutes for doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career scholars in 2019. These intensive, one-to-two-week institutes include the Summer Institute in Computational Social Science, co-sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and the Summer Institute in Social Science Genomics and the Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences, both co-sponsored by the JPB Foundation and the Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods, co-sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation.

Read more and view application guidelines and deadlines.


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