Household Finance Research Grants

Call for Proposals

The NBER, with the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, seeks to advance understanding of household financial behavior and to provide a firm foundation for related policy discussions. Household finance is defined broadly to include the financial functions of payments, saving and investing/portfolio-choice, borrowing/credit, and risk management, and also encompasses the policy choices of businesses and government agencies that affect household decision-making.

To promote early-stage research on these issues, the NBER is offering up to four research grants of $15,000 each to support projects related to household finance. These grants may be used to cover costs associated with travel, data acquisition, and other research expenses, but they may not be used to hire research assistants or to cover salary for project investigators. Applications, consisting of a research proposal of no more than three pages, an itemized budget, and the principal investigator(s) curriculum vitae, should be compiled into a single PDF file and uploaded to:

Applications from doctoral students should include a one-page letter of recommendation from a senior researcher who is knowledgeable about the project. When a substantial part of the grant request will be used for data collection or production, grantees are encouraged to make the resulting data publicly available to the extent possible, for example within the limits of confidentiality agreements. This possibility should be discussed in the proposal.

Researchers from any institution may apply, but preference will be given to proposals for research on household finance issues in the United States. Applications are especially welcome from untenured faculty members and advanced doctoral students, from researchers with and without NBER affiliations, and from researchers who are members of groups that are under-represented in economics and finance.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on Monday March 2, 2020. They will be evaluated by a review committee consisting of Neale Mahoney (University of Chicago and NBER), Adair Morse (University of California – Berkeley and NBER), Johannes Stroebel (New York University and NBER), and Stephen Zeldes (Columbia University and NBER). Decisions will be announced in late March, 2020.

Grantees will be expected to provide a summary of research work completed, or a preliminary working paper, by December 31, 2020, and to submit a paper based on their project for potential presentation at the Summer 2021 meeting of the NBER Household Finance Working Group.

Please direct any questions to Denis Healy at
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