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: $790,740
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2016

    To support the NBER Summer Institute

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Janet Currie

    The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Summer Institute is arguably the most important and influential annual event for empirical economists. This grant to NBER provides partial organizational and administrative funding for the Summer Institute for the next three years. The Summer Institute is a three-week academic festival. Over 2,400 economists participate in at least one of over 50 workshops. Directors of NBER’s 20 programs organize overlapping tracks that cover labor, aging, health, and other traditional subjects. In addition, special working groups meet at the Summer Institute to exchange ideas, discuss recent scholarly work, and identify promising new topics for study. Many prominent research results are first presented at the Institute, some in preliminary form that benefit from the intense discussion both during and after a workshop. There are also popular plenary sessions, such as the annual Feldstein Lecture and the Sloan-funded Methods Lecture. In addition to general support for the Institute, grant funds will be used to videotape sessions for wider distribution and for scholarships that underwrite the participation of emerging scholars from underrepresented groups.

    To support the NBER Summer Institute

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  • grantee: American Friends of the Hebrew University
    amount: $14,800
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2016

    To support broad participation by behavioral and experimental economists in the Economic Science Association’s annual conference

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

    To support broad participation by behavioral and experimental economists in the Economic Science Association’s annual conference

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $124,994
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2015

    To strengthen a new postdoctoral program for interdisciplinary work on data science by including a position for a quantitative social scientist

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

    To strengthen a new postdoctoral program for interdisciplinary work on data science by including a position for a quantitative social scientist

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  • grantee: Duke University
    amount: $108,903
    city: Durham, NC
    year: 2015

    To develop, test, document, and release methods for increasing data quality and decreasing disclosure risk in household datasets for public or restricted use

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

    To develop, test, document, and release methods for increasing data quality and decreasing disclosure risk in household datasets for public or restricted use

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  • grantee: Behavioral Science & Policy Association
    amount: $19,700
    city: Durham, NC
    year: 2015

    To promote cooperation between behavioral researchers and policy practitioners

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

    To promote cooperation between behavioral researchers and policy practitioners

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $20,000
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2015

    To launch an active and diverse study group on behavioral macroeconomics

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

    To launch an active and diverse study group on behavioral macroeconomics

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  • grantee: University College London
    amount: $50,000
    city: London, United Kingdom
    year: 2015

    To launch a carefully curated and edited blog that will make insights from microeconomic research more widely and popularly accessible

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Richard Blundell

    To launch a carefully curated and edited blog that will make insights from microeconomic research more widely and popularly accessible

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  • grantee: Carnegie Mellon University
    amount: $333,090
    city: Pittsburgh, PA
    year: 2015

    To investigate how the availability and deployment of privacy enhancing technologies affect consumer behavior and welfare

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

    This grant funds efforts by Allessandro Acquisti at Carnegie Mellon University to examine, through laboratory, online, and field experiments, how Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) can affect consumer behavior and welfare. Examples of PET tools include ad blockers like Ghostery, surveillance blockers like Tor, and cookie blockers like Beef Taco. Acquisti and his team will have PET software installed on the computers of some experimental subjects and then observe how their online behavior changes relative to a control group. They will then measure and analyze the subsequent differences in consumer behavior, like purchases or sites visited, as well as changes in the prices, products, or search results offered by websites and search engines to the two groups. The work promises to provide valuable new data on how concerns about privacy shape the way we conduct our lives online.

    To investigate how the availability and deployment of privacy enhancing technologies affect consumer behavior and welfare

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  • grantee: University of Michigan
    amount: $486,501
    city: Ann Arbor, MI
    year: 2015

    To explore the relationship between behavioral nudges and intrinsic motivation by conducting field experiments

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

    This grant funds research by University of Michigan economist and professor of education Brian Jacob, who has designed a randomized controlled trial to study the effects of behavioral interventions on enrollment in the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program. The TLF is a federal initiative that forgives up to $17,500 in student loans to teachers who teach for five years in a school serving students from low-income families.  The complicated, multistage qualification process for the program offers a unique opportunity to test how various interventions might work, by randomly assigning applicants to different groups during the process and subjecting them to slightly different form designs, requirements, defaults, and choice architectures. The TLF thus serves as an excellent opportunity to study how to design federal benefits programs in ways that maximize their uptake. Funds from this grant will support Jacob and his research team as they conduct this two-year study.

    To explore the relationship between behavioral nudges and intrinsic motivation by conducting field experiments

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  • grantee: The University of Chicago
    amount: $580,003
    city: Chicago, IL
    year: 2015

    To study experimentally the welfare economics of nudging and other behavioral interventions

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

    Behavioral economists tout examples of how small changes in the way options are presented can have large effects on the decisions people make. The term “nudging” refers to such “choice architecture” modifications that help, but do not force, people to behave more in line with how they wish they could. To count as a nudge, the behavioral intervention should be easy and inexpensive to disregard. So, for example, putting fruit at eye level is a nudge; banning junk food is not. Large-scale experiments, both by academics and by governments, have shown that nudging can help people eat better, reduce their energy consumption, or save more for retirement. These are relatively straightforward applications, though. Others raise harder questions about who ultimately benefits, who loses, and by how much. For example, do people like being nudged? Should people like being nudged? All things considered, when does nudging actually make society better off? Does it matter much if people know they are being nudged? This grant funds a series of experiments by University of Chicago economist John List to examine these and related issues. List’s team has designed two large randomized controlled trials with almost 50,000 subjects in total, one focused on energy conservation and another on food choices. Along with measuring the direct effects of nudges, List will rigorously examine participants’ decisions to opt in or out of being nudged, allowing him to estimate any associated welfare losses experienced by consumers.

    To study experimentally the welfare economics of nudging and other behavioral interventions

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