Behavioral Interventions

Report

A Technical Supplement to “Behavioral Economics and Social Policy”

April, 2014
Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Caitlin Anzelone, Nadine Dechausay, Saugato Datta, Alexandra Fiorillo, Louis Potok, Matthew Darling, John Balz

This technical supplement to an introductory report for the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project presents a description of behavioral interventions that have been commonly researched in studies.

Issue Focus

Building a Body of Evidence

April, 2016

Over the past several years, MDRC has worked with the federal Administration for Children and Families to test low-cost behavioral interventions to improve child support services in a number of states. This issue focus describes what’s been learned so far — and what’s planned for the future.

Report

Using Behavioral Economics to Engage TANF Recipients

March, 2016
Mary Farrell, Jared Smith, Leigh Reardon, Emmi Obara

A low-cost, low-effort behavioral intervention in Los Angeles County modestly increased the percentage of TANF recipients who reengaged in the county’s welfare-to-work program within 30 days of their scheduled appointment. The test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Report

Applying Behavioral Insights to Increase Collections

February, 2016
Peter Baird, Dan Cullinan, Patrick Landers, Leigh Reardon

Findings from tests in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, demonstrate that low-cost, low-effort behavioral interventions can improve child support payment outcomes. These tests are part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Report

Using Behavioral Economics to Increase On-Time Child Care Subsidy Renewals

November, 2015
Alexander Mayer, Dan Cullinan, Elizabeth Calmeyer, Kelsey Patterson

This study assessed three different behavioral strategies for providers and clients aimed at increasing the timely renewal of child care subsidies, in order to ensure consistent client services. The findings suggest that strategies designed for staff who work directly with clients may be a fruitful area for future work.

In many human services programs, enrollees must make a series of decisions and take a number of active steps in order to access a benefit. From deciding which programs to apply for, to completing forms, attending meetings, showing proof of eligibility, and arranging travel and child care, program designers often assume that individuals make decisions about how to...

Many noncustodial parents do not pay their full child support obligations and therefore accumulate child support debt. At the same time, many children receiving child support assistance have little or no savings to help pay for their higher education. In an effort to increase child support payments, lower child support debt, and expand the future economic opportunities...

Behavioral science sheds light on human decision-making and behavior to better understand why people make the choices that they do. Designers of social services often expect that clients will understand their many choices and obligations, respond appropriately to notices, recognize the benefits of supportive services, and diligently follow through. When these...

Report

Using Behavioral Insights to Encourage People to Participate

August, 2015
Nadine Dechausay, Caitlin Anzelone, Leigh Reardon

Several low-cost behavioral messaging interventions boosted participant attendance at an optional informational meeting for Paycheck Plus, an earnings supplement program in New York City. This test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

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