Faculty researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, and Washington University in St. Louis have been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to research COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. workforce, including disparities among women, minorities and low-income individuals.

Spyridon Lagaras, assistant professor of finance at Katz, was awarded the Knowledge Challenge grant in September 2022 along with assistant professor of finance and entrepreneurship, Matthew Denes of Carnegie Mellon, and Margarita Tsoutsoura of Washington, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. The research is entitled “The impact of COVID-19 on ‘the Great Reshuffling’ of work” and will focus on how individuals work, who they work for, and the implication for equitable opportunities, Lagaras said.

“The research projects selected for this portfolio all look towards the future and will help us better understand the systems and structures needed to support inclusive prosperity,” says Jessica Looze, director of knowledge creation and research.

Lagaras said the workplace research will focus on three areas:

1. Where individuals transitioned to during the pandemic, i.e., other employment, starting a new business, self-employment, and independent contracting.

2. If there was a differential effect based on the demographic characteristics of those who faced these transitions during the pandemic; and

3. Examining the firms created during the pandemic to see which sectors were impacted.

This is the second grant Lagaras, Denes, and Tsoutsoura have received from the Kaufmann Foundation. In 2020, they received funding for a project called, “Securing the Gig: Entrepreneurship and the Rise of the Platform Economy.” This research has been presented in leading conferences and is under review by the IRS for public dissemination.

For more information about the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, please visit www.kauffman.org.