2024 Visiting Fellows Program 2024 Visiting Fellows Program

The Boston Fed Regional & Community Outreach (RCO) Visiting Fellows Program supports external scholars dedicated to advancing scholarly and policy-relevant research in areas related to RCO's work. This year's fellows are pursuing research related to three topics of importance: housing, child care, and transportation. Each of these can pose serious barriers to work while also having broader equity implications.

Meet the 2024 Visiting Fellows

Jeffrey P. Cohen, PhD Professor of Real Estate, University of Connecticut, School of Business
Keeping Springfield’s Housing Wealth On-Track with the CTrail Hartford Line 
The CTrail Hartford Line is a heavy commuter rail line that opened in June 2018, connecting Springfield, Massachusetts, with Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut. The question of which demographic group(s) in Springfield gained or lost housing wealth from owning houses near the new line deserves attention. This study will consider whether and how specific events of the new commuter rail line opening and plans for subsequent upgrade impacted housing wealth in Springfield. Another specific focus will be on whether some racial/ethnic groups’ housing wealth in Springfield disproportionately changed.

Kate Giapponi Schneider, PhD, MBA, Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, Heller School for Social Policy & Management, Brandeis University (with coauthor Elizabeth Wong, MPH, PhD Candidate, Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, Heller School for Social Policy & Management, Brandeis University)
Reducing Barriers to Work by Increasing Access to Nontraditional Hour Child Care 
Nearly one-third of low-income workers are employed during nonstandard hours that fall outside the typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday workweek, and a growing body of research documents the shortage of child-care options that match these workers’ schedules. The limited supply of licensed child-care providers operating during nontraditional hours creates barriers to work and may lead parents to forgo work opportunities. This study proposes to merge data from a new statewide survey of licensed child-care centers and family care providers in Massachusetts with multiple secondary data sources to estimate the extent to which provider characteristics, local market forces, and regional subsidy policies are associated with whether a provider offers child care during nontraditional work hours. 

Peter Hepburn, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University-Newark; Associate Director of the Eviction Lab, Princeton University 
Assessing the Distribution of Emergency Rental Assistance across New England 
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress allocated $46.6 billion in emergency rental assistance (ERA) funding. These funds were distributed, starting in mid-2021, by a series of state, county, local, and tribal governments across the U.S., including 13 grantees in New England. Grantees varied in both how much funding they received (in absolute terms and relative to renter populations) and how they structured applications, processed requests for assistance, and made payments. This descriptive project proposes to use restricted-use ERA payment microdata to explore the distribution of these funds within New England. This study will contribute to a growing literature on the unique opportunities afforded by pandemic-era programs, opening up new possibilities for future policy design and implementation.
Our 2024 fellows will partner with members of RCO’S research team, meeting throughout the year to workshop and finalize original Boston Fed Community Development issue briefs on their findings.


See more information about the Visiting Fellows program and stay tuned for how to apply for the 2025 fellowship.