Professor Loujaina Abdelwahed Receives Research Grant for Measuring Inequality in Real Time

POSTED ON: August 31, 2021

 Loujaina Abdelwahed

Loujaina Abdelwahed, assistant professor of economics, was awarded a grant from The Washington Center for Equitable Growth today. Equitable Growth funds economists and social scientists in various stages of their careers for their work studying economic inequality and its impact on economic growth and stability.

Professor Abdelwahed, along with Jacob Robbins, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, received $50,000 for their work to track inequality in real time amid the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing recession. The grant supports their research to measure consumer spending inequality in the United States to determine the impact of the pandemic on consumption inequality along the income distribution, as well as the impact of government stimulus payments and other income support programs on spending and consumption patterns.

“Although there is data measuring aggregate consumer spending in real time, none of these data sets consider consumer spending inequality ​- or how the distribution of spending has evolved in response to the pandemic and in response to government stimulus policies,” explains Professor Abdelwahed. “Now that we are hopefully recovering from the downturn, we want to look at how the distribution of spending has changed in light of the pandemic. We aim to issue quarterly public reports and these faster estimates of how consumer spending inequality is changing, which could provide input for policy makers.”

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