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RSF Bulletin

RSF-Gates Foundation Pipeline Grants Awarded to Emerging Scholars

The Russell Sage Foundation, in partnership with the Economic Mobility and Opportunity program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is pleased to announce twenty-one awards made in the second round of their Pipeline Grants Competition. Together, these research projects by emerging scholars represent a wide range of innovative research on economic mobility and access to opportunity. This initiative supports early- and mid-career tenure-track scholars who are underrepresented in the social sciences in order to promote racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity.

Following is the list of grantees with links to brief descriptions of their research.

Abhay Aneja (University of California, Berkeley) and Guo Xu (University of California, Berkeley) will study the impact of workplace racial segregation by analyzing the effects of President Woodrow Wilson’s 1913 directive segregating federal government workers by race.

Yaa Akosa Antwi (Johns Hopkins University) will evaluate the effect of Medicaid eligibility in childhood on criminal behavior in adulthood using changes in Medicaid eligibility rules in the 1980s and 1990s.

Noli Brazil (University of California, Davis) will examine the extent to which public school closures due to the economic effects of the COVID pandemic occur primarily in minority neighborhoods.

Brielle Bryan (Rice University) will study the extent to which people with felony convictions face discrimination in the rental housing market.

Stephanie Canizales (University of California, Merced) will study unaccompanied Central American and Mexican immigrant youth's ties to their families at home and how they shape youth's financial stability.

Laura Cuesta (Rutgers University, New Brunswick) and Alejandra Ros Pilarz (University of Wisconsin) will study how regularity in child support receipt has changed over the past twenty years and the extent to which regularity affects custodial mothers’ employment and economic well-being.

Daysi Diaz-Strong (University of Illinois, Chicago) will examine the role of high school teachers, counselors, and social workers in providing financial aid resources for undocumented youth.

Angela Dixon (Emory University) will investigate the ripple or “spillover” effects of Black–White disparities in mortality and the intergenerational consequences for survivors’ wellbeing.

Linsey Edwards (New York University) will examine the prevalence, causes, and consequences of zero and near-zero work hour schedules as a form of job precarity.

Rachel Ellis (University of Maryland College Park) will study women on probation to examine the unequal impacts of state surveillance, with special attention to the role of gender and motherhood.

Laura Enriquez (University of California, Irvine) will examine how undocumented status creates legal vulnerability that can compromise Latinx children of immigrants’ potential for upward mobility.

Brittany Fox-Williams (CUNY Lehman College) will study the racial dynamics of trust in student-educator relationships in New York City high schools and ways to foster trusting school climates for Black youth.

Emily Frazier (Northwest Missouri State University) will study refugee integration in the Midwest following Trump-era admission cuts and policy changes to the refugee resettlement system.

Yana Kucheva (CUNY, City College) and Norma Fuentes-Mayorga (CUNY, City College) will study mixed-status Latino families to examine how the social safety net contributed to new inequalities during the pandemic.

Analisa Packham (Vanderbilt University) and David Slusky (University of Kansas) will study the extent to which removing Medicaid application barriers for released inmates affects health care take-up, recidivism, and occupational trajectories.

Christian Phillips (University of Southern California) will analyze the influence of ethnicity, gender, and economic roles of Filipina American essential workers on their political incorporation.

Aradhya Sood (University of Toronto) and Milena Almagro (University of Chicago) will study the extent to which racially restrictive housing covenants contributed to segregation, the racial wealth gap, and unequal access to neighborhood amenities.

George Spencer (University of Georgia) will study the extent to which losing financial aid affects student mobility and degree completion and the potential consequences of retention requirements for merit-based grant programs.

Casey Stockstill (University of Denver) will study teacher stress, COVID workload changes, and “play-based learning” execution in sixty Denver preschools with varied race/class compositions.

Courtney Thomas Tobin (University of California, Los Angeles) will investigate the psychosocial consequences of social mobility among Black Americans and how it affects their well-being.

Diane Wong (Rutgers University, Newark) will examine the political response of residents in Manhattan’s Chinatown to evictions, landlord harassment, cultural erasure, and other forms of dispossession.

New Book: The Other Side of the Coin: Public Opinion Toward Social Tax Expenditures

Despite high levels of inequality and wage stagnation over several decades, the U.S. has done relatively little to address them – at least in part due to public opinion, which remains highly influential in determining the size and scope of social welfare programs that provide direct benefits to retirees, unemployed workers or poor families. On the other hand, social tax expenditures – or tax subsidies that help citizens pay for expenses such as health insurance or costs of college and save for retirement – have been successfully implemented, and they now comprise nearly 40 percent of federal spending for social welfare purposes. In The Other Side of the Coin, political scientists Christopher Ellis (Bucknell University) and Christopher Faricy (Syracuse University) examine public opinion towards social tax expenditures — the other side of the social welfare state – and their potential to expand support for such social investment.

Drawing on nationally representative surveys and survey experiments, Ellis and Faricy show that social welfare policies designed as tax expenditures, as opposed to direct spending on social welfare programs, are popular with the general public. They find that many view the beneficiaries of social tax expenditures as more deserving of government aid than recipients of direct social programs, indicating that how benefits are delivered affects perceptions of recipients’ worthiness. Importantly, tax expenditures appeal more to citizens with anti-government attitudes, low levels of trust in government, or racial prejudices. As a result, spending through the tax code is likely to be more popular than direct government spending on public programs with the same goals.

The first empirical examination of the broad popularity of tax expenditures, The Other Side of the Coin provides compelling insights into constructing a politically feasible—and potentially bipartisan—way to expand the scope of the American welfare state.

Read more and purchase a copy of the book.

Funding Guidelines for May 4, 2021, Deadline for Letters of Inquiry

For its next deadline, RSF will accept letters of inquiry (LOIs) under these core programs and special initiatives: Behavioral Economics; Decision Making & Human Behavior in Context; Future of Work; Social, Political and Economic Inequality. RSF will also accept LOIs relevant to any of its core programs that address at least one of these issues:

  1. Research on the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting recession in the U.S. Specifically, research that assesses the social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences of the pandemic, especially its effects on marginalized individuals and groups and on trust in government and other institutions. Our priorities do not include analyses of health outcomes or health behaviors. RSF seldom supports studies focused on outcomes such as educational processes or curricular issues but does prioritize analyses of inequalities in educational attainment or student performance.
  2. Research focused on systemic racial inequality and/or the recent mass protests in the U.S. Specifically, research that investigates the prevalence of racial disparities in policing and criminal justice and their social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences; the effects of the current social protest movement and mass mobilization against systemic discrimination; the nature of public attitudes and public policies regarding policing, criminal justice, and social welfare; and the effects of those attitudes in the current political environment.

LOIs must include specific information about the proposed data and research design. If you are unsure about RSF’s expectations, you should review the grant writing guidelines on our website and view an instructional webinar. Successful proposals can start on or after December 1, 2021.

Call for Proposals: Improving Education and Reducing Inequality in the U.S.

RSF and the William T. Grant Foundation seek research projects that aim to deepen our understanding of educational opportunity and success in the U.S. by analyzing data on academic achievement from the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) constructed by Sean Reardon and colleagues at The Educational Opportunity Project (EOP) at Stanford University. Proposals are due by April 29, 2021.

Read the full call for proposals here.

Visiting Scholar Application Deadline

RSF’s visiting scholar program, established about forty years ago, is a unique opportunity for social scientists to pursue research that investigates essential questions on social, economic, and political life in the U.S. while in residence in New York City. The program fosters the exchange of ideas in a vibrant interdisciplinary environment and promotes multi-disciplinary collaborations. Applications are reviewed by outside experts; final selections are made by RSF trustees. Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year will be accepted until June 24, 2021.

View further information about the program, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

How to Apply for Funding from RSF

For more information on RSF's grant making process, please visit our website to review our grant writing guidelines and view a five-minute video on how to use our grants management system.

RSF program staff will host a pre-deadline webinar on April 8th at 2:00 pm on how to apply for foundation grants and what must be included for a letter of inquiry to be successful.

Please click here to register for the webinar.

RSF Journal Call for Articles

RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is seeking abstracts for article submissions for a new issue on “Administrative Burdens as a Mechanism of Inequality in Policy Implementation,” edited by Pamela Herd (Georgetown University), Hilary Hoynes (University of California, Berkeley), Jamila Michener (Cornell University), and Donald Moynihan (Georgetown University). This issue seeks to better understand how administrative burdens exacerbate inequality in implementing public policies. Proposals are due by April 21, 2021.

Read the full call for articles here.

New Editorial Board Members Named to RSF Journal

RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is pleased to welcome political scientists Elizabeth Cohen (Syracuse University) and Jana Morgan (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and economist Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis) to its editorial board, effective March 2021. The journal’s editorial board includes a multidisciplinary group of eminent social scientists and is responsible for editorial oversight of the journal and approval of all journal issues.

Read more about the new editorial board members.

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