Economics researchers awarded 2021 SSHRC Insight Grants

June 16, 2021

Congratulations to professor Douglas Allen and associate professor Lucas Herrenbrueck whose projects have been awarded Social Sciences and Humanities Council (SSHRC) Insight Grants

Insight Grants aim to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world. By supporting and fostering excellence in social sciences and humanities research, the program deepens, widens and increases our collective understanding of individuals and societies, as well as informing the search for solutions to societal challenges. 

Allen and Herrenbrueck were among the eight researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) who successfully received SSHRC Insight Grants for their projects. 

Douglas Allen

Late Homesteading, the Dawes Acts, and the Destruction of Native Property Rights

U.S. homesteading has been linked to establishing federal economic property rights over western lands where U.S. sovereignty was threatened by the Confederacy, foreign powers, and Indian Wars. However, the bulk of homesteading actually took place in the early twentieth century, long after these threats to federal ownership ceased. This "late homesteading'' was also an effort to enforce federal property rights, but in response to a different threat - a legal one. Mid-nineteenth century Indian treaties had granted massive tracts of lands to Native Americans. Later in the century Congress attempted to renegotiate the terms, but to no avail. In response, federal land policies simply dispossessed massive amounts of Indian treaty lands, and opened the federal government up to court action. Late homesteading was used to permanently enforce the dispossession, even in cases where legal disputes were lost. This project uses data on the universe of individual homesteads, and links them with federal land cessions across the sixteen western states. Land cessions can be sorted into lands voluntarily ceded and those taken by the federal government. Late homesteading is mostly found on the taken lands. The Dawes Acts provide an additional test based on the timing of the confiscated lands.

Lucas Herrenbrueck

The Effect of Financial Fragility on the Labour Market

The goal of this project is to improve our understanding of the transmission of shocks from financial markets to labour markets – that is, how and when a financial crisis causes unemployment – and to thereby reach conclusions relevant for the progress of economic theory and for the practice of government policy makers and financial regulators.