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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Just, David R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    While there is mixed evidence of the impact of food assistance programs on obesity, there is general agreement that the food-insecure are at higher risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Food assistance programs, originally designed to overcome a lack of available food, now need to confront a very different problem: how to provide for the food-insecure while encouraging healthy lifestyles. This paper examines the potential to address these competing needs using traditional economic policies (manipulating information or prices) versus policies engaging behavioral economics and psychology. (Author abstract)

    While there is mixed evidence of the impact of food assistance programs on obesity, there is general agreement that the food-insecure are at higher risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Food assistance programs, originally designed to overcome a lack of available food, now need to confront a very different problem: how to provide for the food-insecure while encouraging healthy lifestyles. This paper examines the potential to address these competing needs using traditional economic policies (manipulating information or prices) versus policies engaging behavioral economics and psychology. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Thaler, Richard H.; Benartzi, Shlomo
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    As firms switch from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans, employees bear more responsibility for making decisions about how much to save. The employees who fail to join the plan or who participate at a very low level appear to be saving at less than the predicted life cycle savings rates. Behavioral explanations for this behavior stress bounded rationality and self-control and suggest that at least some of the low-saving households are making a mistake and would welcome aid in making decisions about their saving. In this paper, we propose such a prescriptive savings program, called Save More Tomorrow(TM) (hereafter, the SMarT program). The essence of the program is straightforward: people commit in advance to allocating a portion of their future salary increases toward retirement savings. We report evidence on the first three implementations of the SMarT program. Our key findings, from the first implementation, which has been in place for four annual raises, are as follows: (1) a high proportion 8 percent) of those offered the plan joined, (2) the vast majority...

    As firms switch from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans, employees bear more responsibility for making decisions about how much to save. The employees who fail to join the plan or who participate at a very low level appear to be saving at less than the predicted life cycle savings rates. Behavioral explanations for this behavior stress bounded rationality and self-control and suggest that at least some of the low-saving households are making a mistake and would welcome aid in making decisions about their saving. In this paper, we propose such a prescriptive savings program, called Save More Tomorrow(TM) (hereafter, the SMarT program). The essence of the program is straightforward: people commit in advance to allocating a portion of their future salary increases toward retirement savings. We report evidence on the first three implementations of the SMarT program. Our key findings, from the first implementation, which has been in place for four annual raises, are as follows: (1) a high proportion 8 percent) of those offered the plan joined, (2) the vast majority of those enrolled in the SMarT plan (80 percent) remained in it through the fourth pay raise, and (3) the average saving rates for SMarT program participants increased from 3.5 percent to 13.6 percent over the course of 40 months. The results suggest that behavioral economics can be used to design effective prescriptive programs for important economic decisions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Office of Child Support Enforcement
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2016

    In the Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) demonstration project, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has competitively awarded grants to seven states and the District of Columbia to better understand individuals' behavior and decision-making ability when it comes to participating in the child support program.The five-year demonstration is exploring the potential relevance and application of behavioral economics principles to child support services, focusing on areas such as modification of orders and early engagement in the child support establishment process.

    The project launched on September 30, 2014, and builds on the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project conducted by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Ohio, Texas and Washington's child support programs participated in BIAS and showed promising results. The eight sites participating in BICS are California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. (Author...

    In the Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) demonstration project, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has competitively awarded grants to seven states and the District of Columbia to better understand individuals' behavior and decision-making ability when it comes to participating in the child support program.The five-year demonstration is exploring the potential relevance and application of behavioral economics principles to child support services, focusing on areas such as modification of orders and early engagement in the child support establishment process.

    The project launched on September 30, 2014, and builds on the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project conducted by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Ohio, Texas and Washington's child support programs participated in BIAS and showed promising results. The eight sites participating in BICS are California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Valenti, Joe; Grinstein-Weiss, Michal; Hamilton, Gayle
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2014

    On April 30, 2014, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Behavioral Economics at Tax Time Webinar featuring Joe Valenti, Director of Asset Building at the Center for American Progress, Dr. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Associate Director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Gayle Hamilton, Senior Fellow in the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy Area at MDRC.

    These speakers shared findings from the Refund to Savings and SaveUSA projects. Refund to Savings is a collaborative effort among Duke University, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, the makers of TurboTax Free File software. The experiment uses motivational prompts and default savings allocations to heighten low to moderate-income tax filers’ awareness of savings options during the tax return process. It is the largest saving experiment conducted in the U.S. to date, involving an estimated one million participants in the in-product stage of the intervention. The SaveUSA program provides a match of 50...

    On April 30, 2014, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Behavioral Economics at Tax Time Webinar featuring Joe Valenti, Director of Asset Building at the Center for American Progress, Dr. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Associate Director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Gayle Hamilton, Senior Fellow in the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy Area at MDRC.

    These speakers shared findings from the Refund to Savings and SaveUSA projects. Refund to Savings is a collaborative effort among Duke University, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, the makers of TurboTax Free File software. The experiment uses motivational prompts and default savings allocations to heighten low to moderate-income tax filers’ awareness of savings options during the tax return process. It is the largest saving experiment conducted in the U.S. to date, involving an estimated one million participants in the in-product stage of the intervention. The SaveUSA program provides a match of 50 cents on the dollar to low-income tax filers who save a portion of their tax refund directly to a special savings account. MDRC is evaluating the program to see whether short-term incentivized savings can lead to longer-term savings habits, reduce material hardships, and improve the overall financial well-being of participants. This document is a transcript of the Webinar.

    View additional materials from the Webinar here. The PowerPoint from the Webinar can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the Webinar can be found here.

  • Individual Author: Valenti, Joe; Grinstein-Weiss, Michal; Hamilton, Gayle
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2014

    On April 30, 2014, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Behavioral Economics at Tax Time Webinar featuring Joe Valenti, Director of Asset Building at the Center for American Progress, Dr. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Associate Director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Gayle Hamilton, Senior Fellow in the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy Area at MDRC.

    These speakers shared findings from the Refund to Savings and SaveUSA projects. Refund to Savings is a collaborative effort among Duke University, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, the makers of TurboTax Free File software. The experiment uses motivational prompts and default savings allocations to heighten low to moderate-income tax filers’ awareness of savings options during the tax return process. It is the largest saving experiment conducted in the U.S. to date, involving an estimated one million participants in the in-product stage of the intervention. The SaveUSA program provides a match of 50...

    On April 30, 2014, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Behavioral Economics at Tax Time Webinar featuring Joe Valenti, Director of Asset Building at the Center for American Progress, Dr. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Associate Director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Gayle Hamilton, Senior Fellow in the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy Area at MDRC.

    These speakers shared findings from the Refund to Savings and SaveUSA projects. Refund to Savings is a collaborative effort among Duke University, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, the makers of TurboTax Free File software. The experiment uses motivational prompts and default savings allocations to heighten low to moderate-income tax filers’ awareness of savings options during the tax return process. It is the largest saving experiment conducted in the U.S. to date, involving an estimated one million participants in the in-product stage of the intervention. The SaveUSA program provides a match of 50 cents on the dollar to low-income tax filers who save a portion of their tax refund directly to a special savings account. MDRC is evaluating the program to see whether short-term incentivized savings can lead to longer-term savings habits, reduce material hardships, and improve the overall financial well-being of participants. This document contains the PowerPoint from the Webinar.

    View additional materials from the Webinar here. The Webinar transcript can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the Webinar can be found here.

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