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: RAND Corporation
    amount: $544,638
    city: Santa Monica, CA
    year: 2012

    To improve our understanding of the role of local labor demand in affecting the work and retirement patterns of older Americans

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Nicole Maestas

    Funds from this grant support the work of Nichole Maestas of the Rand Corporation, who is studying how changes in labor demand affects the employment outcomes of older workers. In earlier work, Maestas has catalogued how older workers often "unretire", re-entering the workforce after a previous exit. Some 60 percent of such workers who unretire end up changing occupations, moving from managerial and professional work to positions in sales, administration, and service provision, positions that are often part-time or offer more flexible scheduling opportunities. Maestas will look at existing datasets to understand the extent to which this phenomenon can be explained by changes in the labor demand for such positions, looking at how growth in industries with large proportions of sales, administrative or service jobs, and the subsequent increase in the demand for workers to fill these jobs, explains employment outcomes for older workers.

    To improve our understanding of the role of local labor demand in affecting the work and retirement patterns of older Americans

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  • grantee: University of Michigan
    amount: $384,514
    city: Ann Arbor, MI
    year: 2012

    To generate experimental evidence about the obstacles that older workers face as they seek reemployment after long periods of unemployment

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Daniel Silverman

    Fewer than a quarter of workers age 50 and older who lost their jobs between mid-2008 and the end of 2009 found work within 12 months, a rate much lower than for younger workers in similar circumstances. What explains this? Is it age discrimination? Bias against time spent unemployed? Local labor market conditions? This grant supports efforts by three labor economists, Daniel Silverman of the University of Michigan, Henry Farber of Princeton, and Till von Wachter of Columbia, to partly answer these questions by conducting a unique experiment that may advance our understanding of how the prospects of older worker re-employment are affected by time unemployed, tightness of local labor markets, and differences in job history. Silverman and the rest of the team will send out to employers some 12,000 pairs of job applications for a mythical unemployed older worker. The faux applications will be identical except for the length of time the applicant has been unemployed, and Silverman and his team will subsequently record the rate at which the applications receive a positive callback from employers, allowing them to estimate how the duration of unemployment affects the possibility of being re-hired. The team will field applications in a number of different labor markets, and will vary the job histories of applicants, which should yield additional insights into how labor market conditions and prior work experience affect the re-employment aspects of workers over 50.

    To generate experimental evidence about the obstacles that older workers face as they seek reemployment after long periods of unemployment

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  • grantee: Dartmouth College
    amount: $1,199,471
    city: Hanover, NH
    year: 2012

    To increase understanding of how recessions, including the Great Recession, affect the labor market activities and retirement of older Americans

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Alan Gustman

    How do recessions in general, and the Great Recession in particular, impact older workers? Are older workers more or less likely to be laid off in recessions? If they are laid off, how long are they out of the labor force and are they eventually able to find new jobs? If they find new jobs, are they at the same or substantially lower pay? To what extent are unemployed older Americans effectively forced into early retirement? These are important questions that have real economic consequences for a significant portion of the labor market. This grant to Dartmouth College supports a project by Alan Gustman, Tom Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai, to specify and estimate a structural retirement model to answer questions about how recessions, including the Great Recession of 2007-2009, affect the labor market activities and retirement of the older population, aged 50 and above. Working with data from the highly-regarded, longitudinal Health and Retirement Study, Gustman and his team will analyze the direct effects of recessions on work responses to layoffs and reduced market activities, as well as indirect effects from wealth losses and induced changes in health and disability status. Factors to be included in their analysis include changes in wealth, incentives from pensions and Social Security, spousal behavior, and the influence of key regulatory policies, including unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and the early claiming of Social Security benefits.

    To increase understanding of how recessions, including the Great Recession, affect the labor market activities and retirement of older Americans

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  • grantee: University of Texas, Austin
    amount: $49,973
    city: Austin, TX
    year: 2011

    To determine feasibility of a follow-up study of the High School and Beyond (HSB) respondents to provide vital information about linkages of early cognitive and non-cognitive skills to labor force outcomes for older Americans

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Chandra Muller

    To determine feasibility of a follow-up study of the High School and Beyond (HSB) respondents to provide vital information about linkages of early cognitive and non-cognitive skills to labor force outcomes for older Americans

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $315,860
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2011

    To support research and analysis of the economics of series versus parallel retirement income strategies

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator John Shoven

    As the U.S. retirement landscape has shifted from one dominated by defined benefit plans (DB) to one dominated by defined contribution plans (DC), older Americans have had to assume more responsibility, as well as more risk, in ensuring their long-term financial security. To that end, they must make complicated income strategy decisions: how long to work; when to retire; whether to work post-retirement; and how strategically to utilize their DC assets and Social Security benefits. This grant supports a project by Stanford economist John Shoven, and Occidental College professor Sita Slavov to analyze and evaluate the potential financial benefits of a specific income strategy that they refer to as the "series" strategy. Utilizing this strategy, older Americans would first deplete their DC assets before drawing on their Social Security benefits, hence using their retirement resources serially. Shoven and Slavov plan to clarify how-under specific conditions that individuals and couples face, such as both working or one earning more than the other-the "series strategy" could lead to more attractive returns relative to the more typically-used "parallel" strategy, where older Americans simultaneously use their defined pension accumulations to supplement Social Security, hence using them in parallel to one another. Preliminary analyses suggest there are substantial financial benefits to the "series" strategy for older Americans, in large part due to the fact that Social Security benefits are indexed to inflation and increase as initial payments are delayed. Addition grant funds will support the publication of a publicly available brochure laying out Shoven and Slavov's conclusions and a conference directed at informing federal policymakers, researchers, financial advisors, and other relevant stakeholders about the research.

    To support research and analysis of the economics of series versus parallel retirement income strategies

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  • grantee: Center For Independent Documentary
    amount: $315,000
    city: Sharon, MA
    year: 2011

    To support the production of a PBS documentary on "Coming of Age in Aging America"

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Christine Herbes-Sommers

    This grant provides funds for the production of a 60 to 90 minute primetime documentary, Coming of Age in Aging America, to be broadcast nationally on PBS. The documentary will focus on the changing demographics of the U.S. and the challenges posed to American cultural, governmental, and other societal institutions by an aging U.S. populace. The documentary will devote considerable attention to issues of aging and work, including looking at the costs and benefits of working longer, the consequences of various retirement practices on the U.S. social security and Medicare systems, ageism and social biases affecting older workers, and new research on age and productivity.

    To support the production of a PBS documentary on "Coming of Age in Aging America"

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  • grantee: Institute for Women's Policy Research
    amount: $20,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2011

    To better understand the relationship between education and employment, earnings, and occupations among older Americans

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Jeffrey Hayes

    To better understand the relationship between education and employment, earnings, and occupations among older Americans

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  • grantee: Boston College
    amount: $2,775,220
    city: Chestnut Hill, MA
    year: 2011

    For a renewal grant for the Boston College Center on Aging and Work

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes

    In a recent study, three out of four workers aged 50 or over, and who have never retired, report that they intend to work during retirement. Given the increasing presence of older workers, employers will be well-served to identify talent management strategies for maximizing the engagement and productivity of these workers. One way to maximize engagement and productivity is through providing employees with more autonomy over when, how, and where they work through the implementation of time and place management policies. This grant to the Boston College Center on Aging and Work supports a three-year research project to analyze the effects of such policies. The Boston College research team will partner with up to six major U.S. employers with labor forces larger than 10,000 employees to study the effects of implementing time and place management policies. The team will study the costs and benefits of such programs both for employers and employees, shedding light on how time and place management policies effect such metrics as worker productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and employee job satisfaction. The research has the potential to have wide-reaching impact as employers search for solutions on how to meet the diverse needs of an aging U.S. workforce.

    For a renewal grant for the Boston College Center on Aging and Work

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $1,087,900
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2011

    To support fellowships for Ph.D. students working on the economics of working longer

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator David Card

    Funds from this grant will support the development and administration of a fellowship program aimed at encouraging young economists to work on understudied or poorly understood issues at the intersection of aging and work. Over the course of five years, eleven two-year fellowships will be awarded, providing a stipend and tuition support to qualified pre-doctoral students interested in studying the economics of labor market activity by older workers in the U.S. The fellowships will be administered by David Card, a leading labor economist and program director of NBER's Labor Studies Program.

    To support fellowships for Ph.D. students working on the economics of working longer

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  • grantee: University of Michigan
    amount: $4,398,616
    city: Ann Arbor, MI
    year: 2011

    To create and analyze datasets that combine the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) with data from the Census Bureau from the firms where HRS respondents have worked

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Margaret Levenstein

    Funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a nationally representative panel study of Americans over the age of 50 and their spouses. Respondents are interviewed every two years. The core survey collects information on income and wealth, employment, pension plans and health insurance, physical health and functioning, cognition, expectations, preferences, demographics, family structure, and some biomarkers. Supplemental surveys of subsets of the respondents cover more extensive biological, cognitive, and genetic measures; consumption, education, and human capital; information technology use; prescription drug use; happiness and well being; and education and human capital expenditures. This grant will fund a project by a team of researchers led by Maggie Levenstein of the Michigan Census Research Data Center to link HRS data to the U.S. Business Register, a list of business establishments in the U.S. compiled and maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. Successfully linking these two datasets will greatly increase the potential usefulness of the HRS, allowing researchers to measure how various health and wellness markers of older workers vary and correlate with the characteristics of the firms that employ them and opening new research possibilities in economics, psychology, organizational behavior, sociology, and demography. In addition to the work required to link the two datasets, funds will support the creation and dissemination of a publicly-available version of the new, linked dataset (suitably anonymized to protect the privacy of survey respondents), a series of papers conducting preliminary analysis of the data, and a conference to promote the new dataset and its use.

    To create and analyze datasets that combine the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) with data from the Census Bureau from the firms where HRS respondents have worked

    More