Work Support and Asset Building

MDRC has launched a number of projects aimed at fostering the long-term economic security of low-wage workers through more stable employment and higher earnings, improved skills, better access to work supports (like the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and subsidized child care), and opportunities to build savings.

The Latest
Issue Focus

In this commentary originally published in Route Fifty, experts from MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science and BIT North America describe how government agencies can use behavioral science to adapt policies, programs, and services during the continuing pandemic crisis.

Issue Focus

When Washington state’s Division of Child Support closed its offices in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, its employment program—Families Forward Washington—kept running with minimal interruption, because the original design was based on working remotely. Its model may offer useful pointers for other service agencies for adapting to the pandemic.

Key Documents
Issue Focus

In this essay, originally published in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, Dan Bloom reviews what research says about subsidized jobs programs – and how they can be a strategy both for tough economic times and for the hard-to-employ in better labor markets.

Issue Focus

In this commentary published by Spotlight on Poverty, MDRC President Gordon Berlin makes the case for creating a more flexible safety net that continues to reward work when jobs are plentiful, provides employment to poor families when jobs disappear, and begins to address the problem of stagnant wages at the low end of the labor market.

Issue Focus

The Work of MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science

This issue focus describes how MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science has completed several large-scale field studies, incorporated behavioral science into other MDRC projects, and educated policymakers and practitioners about how to use behavioral science to improve their programs.