Press ReleaseJun 23, 2022

BFI Announces 11 New Research Grants Funded by $1M Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Fund

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago (BFI) is announcing 11 new research projects on the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and actionable policy solutions for lawmakers to consider going forward. This work is being funded by a $1 million grant from the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

The goal of these awards is to support a wide range of research to help increase our understanding of the longer-term economic impacts of COVID-19 and to help policymakers design and implement rigorous, evidence-driven solutions for future crises in the United States.

“We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Fund by University of Chicago scholars,” said Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Director of BFI. “The diverse set of rigorous research projects supported by these grants will help us learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare us for future shocks to the economy.”

The funding is part of the Peterson Foundation’s support for new research to provide a deeper understanding of COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. economy through a wide range of channels. The BFI grants will cover a range of currently under-explored issues, such as the economic response to COVD-era fiscal relief programs, including wage and price growth; temporary vs. structural changes to the economy, including productivity growth; the pandemic impact on human capital development; COVID vaccine capacity and effectiveness; and the medical response to health care labor markets, among others.

The call for proposals opened in April 2022 to economics researchers at UChicago, and recipients include scholars from the Booth School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics. Through a highly competitive process, 11 proposals involving 17 UChicago faculty were selected for funding, including numerous early career faculty members in addition to distinguished senior faculty such as Booth Professor Marianne Bertrand, faculty director of the UChicago Inclusive Economy Lab; Booth Professor and former Council of Economic Advisers Chair Austan Goolsbee; Nobel laureate and University Professor in Economics Michael Kremer; and Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics Professor Casey Mulligan, former Chief Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers.

BFI is proud to announce the recipients of the research grants, listed below, along with the research the grant will be supporting.


Grant Awards

Proposal: Unconditional Cash and Equitable Economic Recovery

  • Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business 

Proposal: Household Inequality in a High-Pressure Economy

  • Peter Ganong, Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy
  • Pascal Noel, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business
  • Christina Patterson, Assistant Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business
  • Joseph Vavra, Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business

Proposal: The Nature of Economic Recovery from the Pandemic: Services, Goods and Productivity

  • Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business
  • Chad Syverson, George C. Tiao Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business

Proposal: The COVID-19 Revolution in Healthcare Labor Markets

  • Joshua Gottlieb, Associate Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

Proposal: Remediating Inequalities in Young Children’s Human Capital Development after COVID-19

  • Ariel Kalil, Daniel Levin Professor, Harris School of Public Policy
  • Susan Mayer, Professor Emeritus, Harris School of Public Policy

Proposal: Covid-19 Policies and Entrepreneurship: Transitory or Structural Changes?

  • Dmitri Koustas, Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

Proposal: Optimal Vaccine Dosing: General Principles and Modifications Under Supply Constraints in a Pandemic

  • Michael Kremer, University Professor in Economics and Director of the Development Innovation Lab at UChicago

Proposal: Economic Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Nationally Representative Consumption and Income Data

  • Bruce Meyer, McCormick Foundation Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

Proposal: Value of COVID Vaccines

  • Casey Mulligan, Professor in Economics and the College, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics
  • Tomas Philipson, Professor Emeritus, Harris School of Public Policy

Proposal: Legacies of Violence and Public Health: Evidence on COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

  • Austin Wright, Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

Proposal: Fiscal Policy and Durable Goods Consumption

  • Eric Zwick, Associate Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business

Learn more about the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Fund and funded projects here.


About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening America’s future, and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit www.pgpf.org.

About the Becker Friedman Institute

BFI brings together researchers from the entire Chicago Economics community, including the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Booth School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School, to foster novel insights on the world’s most difficult economic problems. By leveraging robust data and cutting-edge analytical tools, BFI researchers have the potential to play a significant role in meeting the most difficult challenges facing the global community. More information at https://bfi.uchicago.edu/.