MDRC has conducted many studies of antipoverty strategies that use economic incentives to improve the financial security of low-income people, encourage employment, and break generational cycles of poverty and dependence.

The Latest
Brief

MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) aims to help more low-income students and students of color graduate by combining proven components into an integrated three-year program. This brief describes the model, the study, and adaptations to the COVID-19 pandemic, and offers some early findings.

Issue Focus

In this commentary, which originally appeared in The Crime Report, Sam Schaeffer and Ivonne Garcia describe how temporary cash grants provided by the Center for Employment Opportunities helped more than 10,000 returning citizens transition from prison during the pandemic. They also share findings about the program from MDRC’s recent study.

Key Documents
Report

A Guide for Practitioners Based on the Jobs-Plus Demonstration

This guide contains practical advice on implementing a program model — known as the Jobs-Plus Community Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus) — aimed at helping public housing residents find and keep jobs.

Brief

Lessons from Research and Practice

This 12-page practitioner brief offers lessons for policy and practice from MDRC-conducted random assignment studies of five programs that provided earnings supplements to low-income parents to encourage employment and increase the payoff of low-wage work.

Report

Findings from Family Rewards 2.0

A program in Memphis and the Bronx offered cash incentives, coupled with family guidance, to poor families for meeting certain health care, education, and work milestones. The program increased income and reduced poverty, increased dental visits and health status, reduced employment somewhat, and had few effects on students’ education.