BFI NewsApr 26, 2022

The Becker Friedman Institute Announces $1 Million Grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Funding Will Support New Research to Analyze Economic Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic, Illuminate Solutions for Policymakers

A generous grant of $1 million from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago (BFI) will support new research by faculty on the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and actionable policy solutions for lawmakers to consider going forward.

“We are deeply grateful to the Peterson Foundation for their support of new research by University of Chicago scholars that will help us learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and become better prepared for future shocks to the economy,” said Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Director of BFI. “We look forward to sharing our findings from the rigorous research that will be produced as a result of this generous grant.”

The UChicago 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, including, for example, topics in labor markets, education, supply chains, economic growth, the healthcare system, and the nation’s medium- and long-term fiscal outlook.

The goal of this Research Fund 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.

“The research insights and analyses from experts at UChicago will help lawmakers design solutions to lessen the impact and hasten the recovery from future economic crises,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation. “The Foundation is pleased to support this vital work, in partnership with BFI and other top institutions, to help ensure a stronger fiscal and economic future for our nation.”

The first call for proposals opened in April 2022 to economics researchers at UChicago, including scholars from the Booth School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, and the Law School. The inaugural awards will be announced in May. A second call for proposals will open October 2022.

Selection criteria include overall quality of the research plan and ability to address selected topics, including those having:

  • Potential to increase knowledge, understanding, and development of actionable solutions to prepare for and address medium- and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 and future pandemics and crises in the United States.
  • Broad near-term policy relevance for the U.S. economy as well as the nation’s economic and fiscal outlook.

“When the COVID pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, the Becker Friedman Institute responded quickly and with the full force of its faculty to produce research findings to help inform policymakers during this unprecedented crisis,” said Erik Hurst, the Frank P. and Marianne R. Diassi Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business, and Deputy Director of BFI. “This grant from the Peterson Foundation will allow our scholars to dig deeper into many of the outstanding questions from the COVID pandemic, to help prepare and inform future crises.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, BFI has worked with over 200 scholars to produce more than 70 economic papers and findings to help inform learning around the COVID crisis and partnered with Stitcher to produce the Pandemic Economics podcast, hosted by New York Times economics reporter Eduardo Porter and former Marketplace anchor Tess Vigeland.

Peter G. Peterson, founder of the Peterson Foundation, received his MBA with honors from the Booth School of Business in 1951. The Foundation’s mission is to increase public awareness of the nature and urgency of the key fiscal challenges threatening America’s future and to accelerate action on them.


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