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
Issue Focus

Students navigating the COVID-19 pandemic are facing new practical and financial concerns about continuing their studies. Colleges can encourage continued enrollment and boost student success by sending well-designed messages that address those concerns, simplify information, and offer support. This Issue Focus highlights proven strategies for communicating effectively.

Report

The MyGoals for Employment Success demonstration uses executive skills coaching to help participants with emotional control, stress tolerance, time management, organization, flexibility, and persistence, which are vital to success in the workplace. Research showing that poverty causes stress and impedes these skills informs the approach of this pilot program.

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.