Call for Papers: Renewing the Promise of the Middle Class

The Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference is a biennial event that brings together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss important issues facing individuals and their communities. The next conference, “Renewing the Promise of the Middle Class,” will share research on factors influencing the financial and socioeconomic status of individuals and families.

From this Call for Papers, the conference organizers are seeking research from a range of academic disciplines in the following areas:

Emerging trends, recent developments, and historical legacies in education, labor and employment practices, entrepreneurship, housing, credit, student loans, wealth building, fintech, health, the opioid epidemic, geographic mobility, demographics, and other areas affecting the middle class and movement in or out of it.

Policies and programs to create an inclusive and resilient middle class, such as tuition assistance with college, vocational training programs, occupational licensing reform, housing policy, consumer financial protection, changes to zoning and other regulations, tax policies, infrastructure investments, and policies addressing labor- and housing-market discrimination.

Specific actions and initiatives by individuals and institutions, including state and local governments, financial institutions, community groups, businesses, military, philanthropies, and non-profits, to create new and enduring paths to the middle class.

This conference is open to research on the above topics that use various definitions of middle class, as well as papers that speak to relevant issues but do not explicitly use “middle class” in their framing. High-quality, policy-relevant research from various disciplines, including economics, public policy, sociology, law, urban studies, and other fields is welcome. Research that explores specific challenges and opportunities for specific subgroups, including lower-income, minority, young-adult, elderly, rural, or other diverse populations is of particular interest.

Submit an extended abstract or draft paper for consideration by October 9, 2018, at this link. The preference is for research with clear relevance to policy or practice that will be completed by the time of the conference. In January 2019, conference organizers will notify the researchers selected to present in a conference session or the poster session. Accepted, completed papers will be due no later than April 12, 2019.

For more information on the conference, see the conference webpage. For questions about the call for papers, please contact