Grants Database

The Foundation awards approximately 200 grants per year (excluding the Sloan Research Fellowships), totaling roughly $80 million dollars in annual commitments in support of research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics. This database contains grants for currently operating programs going back to 2008. For grants from prior years and for now-completed programs, see the annual reports section of this website.

Grants Database

Grantee
Amount
City
Year
  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $375,475
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2017

    To renew support for a three-year postdoctoral program on the economics of the aging workforce

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Nicole Maestas

    This grant provides four years of renewed support to a postdoctoral fellowship program run by the National Bureau of Economic Research which supports talented young researchers interested in working on the economics of an aging workforce. Fellows receive a one-year stipend to carry out research at NBER’s office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as limited funds for research-related purposes. In addition, fellows have the opportunity to participate in NBER’s weekly lunch seminars, NBER’s Summer Institute workshops on Aging and Labor Studies, relevant activities related to the larger NIA-NBER fellows program on Aging, and collaborative research and networking activities with a similar postdoctoral fellowship program at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Selection of the three fellows per year will be made by a panel of experts who are members of both the Aging and Labor Studies NBER programs. Nicole Maestas of Harvard University will chair the selection committee, which will include leading scholars in the fields of labor economics and the economics of aging. The committee’s decisions will be based on their evaluation of the fellows’ potential to make an important contribution to the understanding of the behavior of older workers and the functioning of labor markets for these workers.

    To renew support for a three-year postdoctoral program on the economics of the aging workforce

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  • grantee: Urban Institute
    amount: $1,876,012
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2017

    To identify, simulate, and evaluate policy reform options that could reduce work disincentives at older ages, more equitably and efficiently provide retirement benefits to older adults, and ensure long-term solvency of U.S. retirement programs

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Richard Johnson

    To make sound decisions about potential changes to Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement programs, policymakers need reliable, objective predictions based on the best available data on how reforms would likely affect retiree income and benefits, labor market activities, taxpayer burdens, and program costs and solvency. The predictions are often provided by DYNASIM, the Urban Institute’s well-respected microsimulation model. This grant funds a project by the Urban Institute to expand and improve the DYNASIM model. DYNASIM is a more ambitious tool than nearly every policy evaluation model in use today. It attempts to predict a wider range of outcomes than do most models developed by CBO or the analytical offices of Cabinet agencies. For example, a raise in the early and full retirement ages would almost certainly affect retirement ages, earnings, savings patterns, and the distribution of incomes of those 60 to 74 years in age. It may also influence marriage rates and living arrangements, and could indirectly affect the health status and health insurance coverage of some older Americans. Simple models often focus on just one or two of these outcomes. DYNASIM’s predictions, however, attempt to capture all these indirect effects. With this grant, the Urban Institute will develop further the predictive capabilities of DYNASIM so that the model can be used to produce credible and detailed predictions of the impact of government policy reforms that affect the nation’s elderly. The programs of interest include Social Security, including its Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare, tax policies that affect retirement saving, and important components of Medicaid. The grant will examine how reforms in one or more of these programs will affect old-age labor supply, the prevalence of old-age poverty, the distribution of income in old age, out-of-pocket spending on health care in old age, and tax burdens of the elderly. The DYNASIM model will also produce predictions of the effects of these policy changes on both the elderly and the nonelderly. In addition to providing for the needed improvements, the grant includes funds to maintain DYNASIM during the project period, such as by incorporating the latest economic and demographic assumptions used by Social Security and updating tax and other policy parameters. In addition, the Urban Institute team will use some funds to train additional DYNASIM analysts, to ensure the sustainability of the model, and to find ways to provide access to other researchers, so that it can continue to provide the research and policy community with the best information on the effects of retirement policy reforms after the grant period ends.

    To identify, simulate, and evaluate policy reform options that could reduce work disincentives at older ages, more equitably and efficiently provide retirement benefits to older adults, and ensure long-term solvency of U.S. retirement programs

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $281,750
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2017

    To provide partial support for the International Social Security (ISS) project in order to understand how labor force participation responds to Social Security reforms in 12 countries and to draw lessons for the United States

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Courtney Coile

    This grant supports an ongoing NBER project, the International Social Security (ISS) project, led by Courtney Coile and Axel Bцrsch-Supan, that will examine a variety of retirement and social safety net reforms that have been implemented in other countries, including Canada, Japan, and nine European countries. Teams of investigators from 12 countries (11 mentioned above and the U.S) will examine the precise financial incentives associated with those reforms and the effects of the changed financial incentives on work, retirement, and claiming behavior at older ages. The studies will use a common template, which will enable meaningful, if complicated, comparisons across countries. While the institutional and cultural contexts differ across countries to various degrees, the commonality of demographic pressures and the limited scope of options for restoring financial sustainability to retirement programs make the experiences of other countries directly relevant to Social Security reform discussions in the United States. 

    To provide partial support for the International Social Security (ISS) project in order to understand how labor force participation responds to Social Security reforms in 12 countries and to draw lessons for the United States

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $657,748
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2017

    To support research that addresses how work conditions shape observed employment transitions of older workers and how age and employment status affect preferences for working conditions

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Nicole Maestas

    This grant funds follow-up research by Harvard’s Nicole Maestas in the aftermath of the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS). The AWCS is alone among major workplace surveys in its attention to cataloging both the pecuniary and the nonpecuniary characteristics of jobs, which allows researchers to analyze how these characteristics shape older Americans’ decisions regarding working into later ages. In tandem with the AWCS, Maestas fielded a stated preference experiment designed to assess how much older workers value different job characteristics. Funds from this grant will allow Maestas to reconnect with survey participants three years after the original ACWS survey, allowing the collection of new data and enabling a clearer look into both how workplace characteristics shape retirement decisions and the dynamics of how worker preferences about the desirability of various workplace characteristics change over time. 

    To support research that addresses how work conditions shape observed employment transitions of older workers and how age and employment status affect preferences for working conditions

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  • grantee: Princeton University
    amount: $383,891
    city: Princeton, NJ
    year: 2017

    To improve the Contingent Worker Supplement (CWS) questions in order to increase validity, reduce measurement error, and include appropriate categories of alternative workers

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Alan Krueger

    Our understanding of the size and characteristics of the alternative work force—freelance workers, contract workers, contingent workers, on-call workers, temporary workers, etc.—is severely limited by inadequate federal surveys. They are inadequate in several ways: lack of a clear and agreed upon taxonomy of work; questionable phrasing of questions; sporadic fielding of the surveys; and failure to take into account entirely new forms of work, often referred to as the gig economy, the platform economy, or the on-demand economy.   The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is fielding its first Contingent Work Survey (CWS) in 10 years. This grant funds a project by Princeton economist Alan Krueger and Edward Freeland, Director of the Princeton Survey Research Center to identify and examine ways to improve the CWS questions in order to increase validity, reduce measurement error, and determine if new or additional categories of alternative work are needed.

    To improve the Contingent Worker Supplement (CWS) questions in order to increase validity, reduce measurement error, and include appropriate categories of alternative workers

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  • grantee: Brandeis University
    amount: $413,385
    city: Waltham, MA
    year: 2017

    To create the first comprehensive database, with ages and genders, of approximately two million inventors who received a U.S. patent between 1976 and 2012 and to measure how inventive creativity varies over the life course of inventors

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Margie Lachman

    Research shows a shifting balance of gains and losses in cognitive abilities throughout adulthood, with increases in experience-based knowledge and decreases in the ability to process new information quickly and efficiently. However, as is the case with much psychological research, little is known about how these ability changes manifest in daily life, including in the workplace. This grant supports a project by psychologist Margie Lachman and economist Adam Jaffe to study creative output over the life course by augmenting and analyzing a large dataset of more than two million patent holders. Lachman and Jaffe will use the dataset to examine such questions as the extent to which individuals are able to maintain or increase the quality and quantity of their innovative work, whether this varies by sector or gender, and whether teams that bring older and younger workers together are less or more creative than teams that are less age-diverse. This research will result in new knowledge and important insights for economists, psychologists, and other social scientists who are interested in how aging-related cognitive changes can affect innovation across life trajectories and across different types of teams. The creation of the new database will also facilitate further research.

    To create the first comprehensive database, with ages and genders, of approximately two million inventors who received a U.S. patent between 1976 and 2012 and to measure how inventive creativity varies over the life course of inventors

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $437,161
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2017

    To compare the retirement paths of public and private employees, assessing differences in working conditions, retirement benefits, and government regulations and impacts on the age of retirement from career jobs and the likelihood of post-retirement work

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Robert Clark

    Public sector and private sector employees experience what appear to be distinctly different routes from full-time employment to full-time retirement. This grant funds research by North Carolina State University’s Robert Clark and Harvard’s Joseph Newhouse that will compare the retirement paths of public and private workers and assess how working conditions, retirement benefits, and government regulations impact the age of retirement and the likelihood of working after retirement. Clark and Newhouse will commission 16 research studies that will examine the impact of pensions, health policies, employment rules, and government programs and regulations on the timing of when older workers leave their jobs, their potential for working after retirement, and how these differ for public and private sector employees. The research will be carried out in two waves, with eight projects and a capstone research conference for each wave.?

    To compare the retirement paths of public and private employees, assessing differences in working conditions, retirement benefits, and government regulations and impacts on the age of retirement from career jobs and the likelihood of post-retirement work

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $234,987
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2017

    To enhance the understanding of the options faced by households whose previous retirement plans now appear unrealistic, perhaps due to slow growth, lower than projected wage growth, or poor past or projected asset returns

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator John Shoven

    Many economists predict that the global economy is entering a sustained period of historically low productivity and real wage growth. This grant funds work by economists John Shoven and Sita Slavov that will analyze the implications of working longer and strategies for saving for retirement in a such a low-growth, low-return, low real-wage-growth environment. How do optimal retirement and savings strategies change as the prospects of robust economic growth dim? This research will include two projects related to the broader theme of retirement-focused behaviors in a slow growth economy. The first will focus on the measuring the benefits accruing to working longer in a low-return environment. Using data taken from the influential Health and Retirement Study (HRS), Shoven and Slavov they will compute the rate of return to working longer for HRS respondents between ages 50 and 62 using a life cycle model that assumes individuals face borrowing constraints and that incorporates the actuarial benefit adjustments they receive when they delay Social Security The second project will explore in depth the impact of low wage growth and low asset returns in a slow growth economy. Shoven and Slavov will work through the theoretical implications of optimal savings and working decisions. Because savings depresses current standards of living in exchange for future benefits, the attractiveness of saving drops as asset returns slow. Likewise, the attractiveness of future work dips as wage growth slows. Shoven and Slavov will work out how these differing factors interact under standard economic modeling assumptions, paying special attention to the implications for working longer to raise or maintain living standards. The two projects form interesting and compelling research agenda that has real-life consequences for millions of Americans.

    To enhance the understanding of the options faced by households whose previous retirement plans now appear unrealistic, perhaps due to slow growth, lower than projected wage growth, or poor past or projected asset returns

    More
  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $599,839
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2017

    To support a conference series in order to foster more research and policy discussion about changing labor market institutions to accommodate increased longevity

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator John Shoven

    The annual Stanford Institute Economic Research (SIEPR) Working Longer Conferences allow researchers working at the intersection of aging and work to present their findings, compare approaches, imagine new projects, and get constructive feedback from fellow researchers. Over the past four years, more than 90 different scholars have presented high-quality research as authors, co-authors, or discussants, and each conference has averaged 60 to 70 attendees. The conferences also provide the opportunity for Sloan to identify new potential grantees and to introduce and welcome junior scholars to the community of working longer researchers. This grant provides funds to Stanford University to continue organizing, administering, and hosting the SIEPR Working Longer conferences for an additional three years.

    To support a conference series in order to foster more research and policy discussion about changing labor market institutions to accommodate increased longevity

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $80,668
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2016

    To convene a conference of academic researchers and human resource practitioners to discuss practical ideas to apply emerging academic research to managing an aging workforce

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator John Shoven

    To convene a conference of academic researchers and human resource practitioners to discuss practical ideas to apply emerging academic research to managing an aging workforce

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