2013 NBER Universities' Research Conference

Call for Papers

Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy

On May 10 and 11, 2013, the National Bureau of Economic Research will hold a Universities' Research Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy. The program will be organized by Melissa Kearney, University of Maryland and NBER, and Phillip B. Levine, Wellesley College and NBER. There will be no published proceedings, but the conference will be summarized in the NBER Reporter.

Conference Theme

The Great Recession has brought high levels of long-term unemployment and heightened rates of poverty to the United States. In addition, there has been a long-term trend of increasing inequality, characterized by stagnant incomes in the middle of the income distribution and rising income and wealth concentration at the very top. These developments may have important consequences for household well-being, and they raise new questions about the effects of government policies on households in the lower strata of the income distribution.

This conference will highlight the most recent research on a range of issues related to poverty, inequality, and social policy in the United States. Examples of suitable themes for the meeting include:

    1) How does economic inequality alter educational opportunity and what role does it play in determining educational outcomes?
    2) How does extended duration job loss alter household well-being, and how are such effects affected by unemployment insurance?
    3) How do cyclical factors and long-run trends towards growing inequality alter health care access and outcomes?
    4) Do crime rates vary in predictable and systematic ways with the business cycle and with the level of inequality? Are there policies or programs that can effectively counter these trends?
    5) What are the implications of the poverty and inequality for family structure and household formation? Can government policy alter these outcomes?
    6) To what extent has food insecurity been affected by recent and longer term economic developments and what role does government policy play in addressing it?
    7) Have past economic conditions altered the nature of intergenerational mobility?
    8) How have living arrangements and neighborhood composition of the poor been altered by economic trends?

Selection Process

Empirical research, or theoretical work with empirical applications, will be given priority in selecting papers for the conference program. Submissions from researchers early in their careers, and from researchers who are not NBER affiliates, are also encouraged.

Participants will be selected on the basis of papers or abstracts of about 500 words, with a strong preference for papers. Any research that will not be published at the time of the conference can be submitted. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2012. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by December 1, 2012. Final drafts of the papers will be due at the NBER on April 10, 2013. The NBER will pay the domestic travel and hotel expenses for one author per paper as well as for discussants at the conference.

Please upload the abstract (and if possible the full manuscript) of any paper that you would like considered for the conference by November 1, 2012. The link for such submissions is:

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