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

This issue focus shares early implementation lessons from an evaluation of MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the program model. It offers lessons that could be relevant to similar programs operating in online, in-person, and hybrid environments.

Report

Grameen America provides microloans to women living in poverty seeking to launch or expand small businesses. The program resulted in a reduction of material hardship and an increase in credit scores, business ownership, business earnings, and nonretirement savings. It also improved participants’ feelings of overall financial well-being.

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.