Key joined MDRC in 2018. He leads the development and implementation of fast, low-cost, and rigorously tested interventions to improve the outcomes and experiences of lower-income people and communities for MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science. He partners with local, state, and federal agencies; nonprofit organizations; and businesses to discover opportunities for organizational improvement and devise evidence-based solutions informed by behavioral science. Key has advised numerous public and private agencies on the measurement of financial well-being and the design of programs to promote financial literacy and financial capability. Previously he led research on household finances at the Pew Charitable Trusts. While managing research at the University of North Carolina’s Asset Building Program, Key combined rapid-cycle processes and insights from behavioral economics to field large, national, experimental research studies. He holds an MA in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an AB in sociology from the University of Chicago.
A Toolkit for SNAP E&T ProgramsSeptember, 2021
This toolkit offers state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies a systematic approach—with accompanying examples and worksheets—for employing human-centered design and behavioral science to address problems that may be limiting engagement and participation in SNAP Employment and Training programs.Issue FocusFebruary, 2021
Some estimate that the expansion of the Child Tax Credit could help ameliorate the economic impact of the pandemic and, if made permanent, cut child poverty in the United States in half. But to achieve the promise of these estimates, policymakers should improve the design and delivery compared to the current child tax credit to minimize burdens and barriers for recipients. Here are four research-backed ways to do it.
ProjectsAlexander Mayer, Michelle Ware, Frieda Molina, Hannah Dalporto, Andrea Vasquez, Susan Scrivener, John Diamond, Dorota Biedzio Rizik, Rashida Welbeck, Sophia Sutcliffe, Clinton Key, Melissa Boynton, Austin Slaughter, Erick Alonzo, Kalito Luna, Xavier Alemañy, Melissa West, Sumner Perera
Income share agreements (ISAs) are designed to help students pay for and attend postsecondary education and career training programs. With an ISA, students receive financial support to help cover the cost of their education and, in return, agree to pay a fixed percentage of their future income over a...Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom, Susan Scrivener, Charles Michalopoulos, Dina A. R. Israel, Johanna Walter, Lauren Cates, Sally Dai, Caroline Mage, Emily Marano, Viktoriya Syrov, Douglas Phillips, Kyla Wasserman, Lily Freedman, Osvaldo Avila, Emily Brennan, Jillian Verrillo, Gilda Azurdia, Frieda Molina, Shelley Rappaport, Clinton Key, Nandita Verma, Cynthia Miller, Jared Smith, Shawna Anderson, Kelsey Schaberg, Caitlin Anzelone, James A. Riccio, Keri West, Caroline Schultz, Ethan Feldman
Many Americans struggle in the labor market even when overall economic conditions are good. Unemployment is persistently high for some demographic groups and in certain geographic areas, and a large proportion of...Caitlin Anzelone, Emily Marano, Dan Bloom, Jean Grossman, John Hutchins, Jared Smith, Frieda Molina, Clinton Key, Sophia Sutcliffe, Jessica Kopsic, Rebecca Schwartz, Sophia Sutcliffe, Faith Lewis, Mary Bambino
The goal of human services programs is to help individuals and families meet critical needs and improve their well-being. But many of these programs require participants to navigate complicated processes—involving many decisions and actions—to receive resources and services. Behavioral science research generates insights about human behavior, including how and why...Caitlin Anzelone, Clinton Key, Mary Bambino, Barbara Condliffe, Rebecca Schwartz, Jared Smith, Margaret Hennessy, Xavier Alemañy
Policymakers and administrators are increasingly using evidence about human behavior to improve the design of social services. People — who often rely on intuition instead of reason, make inconsistent choices over time, and can be overloaded by information — are the clients who receive services, the staff who provide them, and the policymakers who create them....