Russell Sage Foundation Research Projects on the Recession

  • Awarded Scholars:
    • Larry M. Bartels, Princeton University
    • Nancy Bermeo, University of Oxford
    • Jonas Pontusson, University of Geneva

    The recent financial crisis created cascading economic problems not only in the United States but throughout much of the world. Although the economic problems in each country are closely tied to each other, the response to the crisis and the impact on individual countries has varied greatly.

  • Awarded Scholar:
    • Nolan McCarthy, Princeton University

    According to The Pew Center on the States, unfunded liabilities in state pension systems amounted to nearly half a trillion dollars even before the financial crisis hit in the fall of 2008. The subsequent collapse of the equity markets and the shrinkage in state tax revenues brought on by the recession only made these pension problems worse.

  • Awarded Scholars:
    • Steven S. Smith, Washington University in St. Louis
    • Stanley Feldman, Stony Brook University
    • Cindy D. Kam , Vanderbilt University
    • Steven M. Fazzari, Washington University in St. Louis

    Ever since the Great Depression and the advent of the New Deal, most Americans have accepted the idea that the government should play a role in managing the economy and addressing major social challenges. However, despite general agreement that the government should play some role in managing the economy, attitudes about the nature and size of that role vary widely.

  • Awarded Scholars:
    • Jeff Manza, Northwestern University
    • Clem Brooks, Indiana University

    Surveys of public opinion suggest support for government action on behalf of the unemployed typically grows during market turbulence. In the 50 years after World War II, popular support for government spending on the social safety net typically increased during recessions. But the Great Recession may be different.

  • Awarded Scholar:
    • Peter Enns, Cornell University

    Between 2009 and 2010, the total state and federal prison population declined for the first time since 1972, and the number of individuals in state prisons actually peaked in 2008. At the same time, state and federal corrections expenditures in 2010 decreased for the first time since the mid-1970s.

    Tagged:
  • Awarded Scholar:
    • National Academy of Social Insurance, Washington, D.C.

    The prolonged high rate of unemployment caused by the Great Recession has revealed substantial weaknesses in our nation’s social safety net. During and after the Great Recession, many families facing unemployment have relied on TANF, SNAP, SSDI, and unemployment insurance to provide income support.

  • Awarded Scholar:
    • Keith Bentele, University of Massachusetts, Boston

    The Great Recession led to sharp decreases in income and increases in poverty rates across the U.S. However, the severity of the impact of the recession on individual families varied based on the interaction of a number of factors: the local intensity of the recession, the strength of the local social safety net, and the level of individual household assets.

  • Awarded Scholar:
    • Robert Moffitt, Johns Hopkins University

    During and since the Great Recession, millions of Americans have relied on government transfer and social insurance programs to make ends meet. In principle, these programs, collectively known as the 'social safety net,'should help replace lost income during economic downturns when unemployment is high and wages are low.

  • Awarded Scholars:
    • William Evans, University of Notre Dame
    • Robert Schwab, University of Maryland

    Over 90 percent of all funding for primary and secondary public schools in the U.S. comes from state and local government. Therefore, the fiscal crisis now faced by state governments in the wake of the recession, and similar budgetary problems just beginning to surface at the local level, are likely to have profound effects on the nation’s public schools.

    Tagged:
  • Awarded Scholar:
    • Alicia Munnell, Boston College

    The recent political battles over the pension and health benefits of state employees are sometimes portrayed in the press as a consequence of greedy public-sector unions winning overly generous concessions from short-sighted state legislators willing to promise unsustainable future benefits to solve immediate political problems.

    Tagged: