Corporate Welfare Reform

Corporate Welfare Reform

Corporate welfare takes many forms but typically involves government-granted advantage or privilege over current or future competitors, often with negative unintended consequences. With this in mind, the Foundation aims to more fully understand the origins, drivers, and consequences of corporate welfare at the individual, state, and national levels, to help build a body of research examining these critical issues, and to encourage the public discourse.

Grant Description

The Charles Koch Foundation invites scholars, researchers, and policy experts to submit proposals on issues related to corporate welfare, corruption, and cronyism. While we are interested in all papers and larger projects that shed light on the various aspects and consequences of government-granted privilege, we are especially interested in projects that:

  • Measure the size, scope, and effects of corporate welfare on growth, competitiveness, opportunity, prices, or innovation. 
  • Analyze the costs and benefits of corporate welfare, including subsidies, tax preferences, regulatory privileges, or protectionism.
  • Identify and analyze specific instances of corporate welfare at the local, state, or national levels (e.g., targeted tax credits, economic development incentives, subsidies or tax breaks for sports stadiums). 
  • Identify and develop measures to provide transparency and accountability to corporate welfare.
  • Develop alternative approaches to corporate welfare for spurring job creation, growth, and innovation. 

Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university, college, think tank, or other 501(c)(3) organization. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.
  • A CV or résumé.
  • A brief, itemized budget.
  • Final projects should be original and of academic journal quality, and must not have been previously published.


Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.

Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Explore the Issue

The Charles Koch Foundation supports research on the barriers that prevent people from working, innovating, and creating value for themselves and their communities. The scholars we support study how economic freedom can help people improve their lives.

Learn More

Our Giving Standards and Principles

Our giving standards and principles guide our long-standing commitment to academic independence and openness.

Faculty call the shots.

Behind each of our grants is a scholar with a vision. Their freedom to drive their research wherever it may take them is essential to the discovery that we hope results from our support.

Schools provide the academic environment.

We’re excited to support hundreds of schools ranging from small liberal arts colleges to state research universities to Ivy League schools. Each grant we make follows the school’s standard procedures when it comes to hiring, curriculum, peer review, and other policies.

Openness brings opportunities.

To help make potential grantees aware of opportunities, we share news of all our major gifts. This knowledge sharing improves collaboration, offering others the possibility to build on the work of the scholars we support.

Society benefits.

The scholars we support are tackling some of the toughest challenges of our time and preparing students for success in a dynamic future. The goal of our philanthropy is to improve society. As scholars’ discoveries guide the path forward on criminal justice reform, free expression, foreign policy, technology and innovation, economic opportunity, and other pressing challenges, society progresses.

Sign up for updates