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: The University of Chicago
    amount: $995,775
    city: Chicago, IL
    year: 2015

    To construct, calibrate, and compare models for analyzing how the financial institutions interact with the real economy

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Financial and Institutional Modeling in Macroeconomics (FIMM)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Lars Hansen

    This grant funds three projects by the University of Chicago’s Macro-Financial Modeling (MFM) initiative. Led by University of Chicago economist and Nobel laureate Lars Peter Hansen and Andrew Lo of MIT, the MFM initiative is a group of distinguished economists, business professors, and other finance experts who have come together to meet the challenges of modeling the complex interactions between the real economy and modern financial institutions. The first supported project is a summer school for graduate students, which will bring young scholars from a variety of intellectual backgrounds to the University of Chicago to introduce them to macro-finanical modeling and to work on specific projects related to it. The second is an open call competition for new or crowd-sourced solutions to problems posed by the MFM initiative. The call will elicit the best thinking from outside the group, encourage innovative and creative approaches to established problems, and expand the reach of the initiative to those not yet involved in the program.  The third project is the development and construction of an online platform for comparing and archiving various macro-financial models. This platform will allow MFM scholars to compare, contrast, and evaluate different models and will spur integrative work that may lead to the combination or improvement of existing models.

    To construct, calibrate, and compare models for analyzing how the financial institutions interact with the real economy

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  • grantee: Institute on Science for Global Policy
    amount: $125,000
    city: Tucson, AZ
    year: 2015

    To integrate empirical behavioral science and decision-making research into the design and evaluation of deliberative dialogue processes

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Behavioral and Regulatory Effects on Decision-making (BRED)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator George Atkinson

    To integrate empirical behavioral science and decision-making research into the design and evaluation of deliberative dialogue processes

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $617,550
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2015

    To advance understanding of household financial behavior and policy

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Behavioral Economics and Household Finance (BEHF)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Brigitte Madrian

    Funds from this grant continue operational support to the NBER Working Group on Household Finance, a group of researchers from economics departments, business schools, government, and industry who come together to work on questions about household balance sheets and financial decision-making. Under the leadership of Brigitte Madrian of Harvard and Steve Zeldes of Columbia, the group holds regular meetings, shares new developments in the field, identifies gaps in the research literature and promising ways to fill them, develops research projects, and convenes a well-attended biennial meeting on the economics of household finance. Additional initiatives planned for the next three years include a postdoctoral fellowship program to help engage the next generation of rising economists in the field of household finance, and a project focused on developing new methods, standards, and courses related to the use of administrative and government data.

    To advance understanding of household financial behavior and policy

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  • grantee: Benefits Data Trust
    amount: $330,526
    city: Philadelphia, PA
    year: 2015

    To test neoclassical and behavioral accounts of government benefits uptake by running a randomized controlled experiment on food stamp program enrollment procedures

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Behavioral Economics and Household Finance (BEHF)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Matthew Notowidigdo

    People eligible for government benefits do not always make use of them. This goes for everything from health insurance subsidies to federal weatherization incentives to tax breaks for retirement savings to student loan forgiveness plans. For social scientists, particularly behavioral economists, the underutilization of such benefits is a vexing puzzle. Working with the Benefits Data Trust, Matt Notowidigdo of Northwestern has secured records and permissions to run a randomized controlled trial on the uptake of benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Although there have been studies of SNAP before, none have been randomized controlled trials. The study calls for over 30,000 eligible seniors to be slated by chance for one of three treatments: the control group gets nothing special; a “low touch” group will receive information about enrolling; and the “high touch” group will also receive assistance with preparing the necessary paperwork. Researchers will then analyze the collected data about who actually enrolls. Funds from this grant will support Notowidigdo and his team in executing the experiment and analyzing the results. None of Notowidigdo’s efforts aim to address potentially ideological questions about the existence or generosity of SNAP or social welfare programs in general. Rather, the aim is to generate empirical economic evidence that will help economists test different theories about what factors drive uptake of social safety net programs and how such programs can be administered effectively and efficiently.

    To test neoclassical and behavioral accounts of government benefits uptake by running a randomized controlled experiment on food stamp program enrollment procedures

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  • grantee: University of Pennsylvania
    amount: $332,457
    city: Philadelphia, PA
    year: 2015

    To establish the Macro Finance Society as a catalyst, forum, and disseminator for research by macro and financial economists

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Economic Implications of the Great Recession (EIGR)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Nikolai Roussanov

    Funds from this grant continue support to the Macro Finance Society (MFS) a group of prominent scholars in economics and finance who first came together in 2013 to advance the development of macroeconomic models that incorporate our best thinking about the interaction between the real economy and the financial sector. Grant funds will support a host of related activities over the next two years, including a series of biannual workshops and associated outreach activities, the development of a lasting repository for relevant data and code, the creation of a long-term financial sustainability plan for the society, and operational funds to offset the professional research and travel of members.

    To establish the Macro Finance Society as a catalyst, forum, and disseminator for research by macro and financial economists

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $495,647
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2015

    To develop new empirical methods and use new “big data” resources for assessing the performance of Medicare and Medicare Advantage insurance plans

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Empirical Economic Research Enablers (EERE)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Jay Bhattacharya

    This grant supports a research project by economists Jay Battacharya (Stanford Medical School), Jon Levin (Stanford), Liran Einav (Stanford), and Amy Finkelstein (MIT) to use newly available datasets to compare the cost and performance of Medicare and Medicare Advantage to private insurance plans that cover similarly situated consumers. The team will examine a broad range of questions relevant to health care policy by comparing data on public insurance plan performance provided by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services with newly available data on private plan performance compiled by the Health Care Cost Institute. Issues to be examined include the differences in health care costs, services, and prices in public and private plans; what features of public or private plan structure account for these differences; and whether private insurance plans can or do deliver comparable outcomes to Medicare at lower costs.

    To develop new empirical methods and use new “big data” resources for assessing the performance of Medicare and Medicare Advantage insurance plans

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  • grantee: Cornell University
    amount: $535,970
    city: Ithaca, NY
    year: 2015

    To study the economics of socially efficient protocols for managing research databases containing private information

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Empirical Economic Research Enablers (EERE)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator John Abowd

    Any given research protocol entails a trade-off between privacy and accuracy. At one extreme, locking up data so no one can use it gives privacy but no accuracy or utility. At the other, fully open data provides plenty of accuracy and utility, but no privacy. In between are other protocols—like ones using fully homomorphic encryption, multiparty secure computation, or differential privacy—that provide differing combinations of accuracy and privacy. Together, one can imagine all these protocols forming a production possibility set. This grant supports a project by Cornell economist John Abowd to characterize the “efficient frontier” of such protocols. These are ones with the property that no other conceivable protocol could deliver more accuracy without sacrificing some privacy, or more privacy without sacrificing some accuracy. After assembling a library of such protocols, Abowd and his team will explore and measure public attitudes among these protocols and the tradeoffs, helping us understand public preferences toward the tradeoffs between accuracy and privacy.

    To study the economics of socially efficient protocols for managing research databases containing private information

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  • grantee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    amount: $124,718
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2015

    To catalogue promising but underfunded opportunities for investing in scientific research

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Economic Analysis of Science and Technology (EAST)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Maria Zuber

    To catalogue promising but underfunded opportunities for investing in scientific research

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $20,000
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2014

    To develop and workshop a multidisciplinary research agenda on rethinking regulatory economics

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Behavioral Economics and Household Finance (BEHF)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Margaret Levi

    To develop and workshop a multidisciplinary research agenda on rethinking regulatory economics

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  • grantee: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    amount: $49,975
    city: Chapel Hill, NC
    year: 2014

    To study the motivation and impact of science philanthropy as practiced by high-net-worth individuals

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Economic Analysis of Science and Technology (EAST)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Maryann Feldman

    To study the motivation and impact of science philanthropy as practiced by high-net-worth individuals

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