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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: Lefkowitz, Jaclyn; Darling, Matthew; Chojnacki, Gregory ; Perez-Johnson, Irma ; Amin, Samia; Manley, Mikia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Behavioral Interventions (DOL-BI) project adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that relatively small changes in how programs operate can lead to striking improvements in their performance. In three trials that tested applications of behavioral science, the project team found substantial benefits for three DOL programs. We have published detailed technical reports on the design and findings of each trial. This brief focuses on the lessons learned by the team as it identified opportunities for behavioral trials and implemented each one. The three trials differed from one another in terms of scope and program focus, demonstrating the broad applicability of behavioral interventions. And although the trials were implemented in labor programs, the findings have potential implications for the use of behavioral interventions in programs funded by other agencies as well. (Author abstract) 

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Behavioral Interventions (DOL-BI) project adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that relatively small changes in how programs operate can lead to striking improvements in their performance. In three trials that tested applications of behavioral science, the project team found substantial benefits for three DOL programs. We have published detailed technical reports on the design and findings of each trial. This brief focuses on the lessons learned by the team as it identified opportunities for behavioral trials and implemented each one. The three trials differed from one another in terms of scope and program focus, demonstrating the broad applicability of behavioral interventions. And although the trials were implemented in labor programs, the findings have potential implications for the use of behavioral interventions in programs funded by other agencies as well. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Choi, Laura; Erickson, David; Griffin, Kate; Levere, Andrea; Seidman, Ellen
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2015

    This book examines the concept of financial health and well-being from many perspectives, bringing together the voices of long-time champions of financial capability and newer voices hailing from a variety of sectors, such as public health, criminal justice, and business. What unites them is the shared recognition that we must do more to help all Americans have control over their financial lives and achieve their financial goals. As represented on the book’s cover, financial health and well-being is the bridge to a strong financial future, connecting individuals and families to greater opportunity, creating more vibrant communities, and in turn, strengthening the social and economic fabric of our nation. (Author introduction)

    This book examines the concept of financial health and well-being from many perspectives, bringing together the voices of long-time champions of financial capability and newer voices hailing from a variety of sectors, such as public health, criminal justice, and business. What unites them is the shared recognition that we must do more to help all Americans have control over their financial lives and achieve their financial goals. As represented on the book’s cover, financial health and well-being is the bridge to a strong financial future, connecting individuals and families to greater opportunity, creating more vibrant communities, and in turn, strengthening the social and economic fabric of our nation. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Anzelone, Caitlin; Dechausay, Nadine; Datta, Saugato; Fiorillo, Alexandra; Potok, Louis; Darling, Matthew; Balz, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Insights from behavioral economics, which combines findings from psychology and economics, suggest that a deeper understanding of decision-making and behavior could improve human services program design and outcomes. Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to complex, large-scale human services programs.

    This report, from the early stages of OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project, provides an overview of behavioral economics, presents an approach to applying behavioral economics to social programs, shares insights from three case studies in the BIAS project, and concludes with some early lessons that have emerged from the work and next steps for the BIAS project. Additionally, a separate technical supplement to the report provides a description of 12 commonly applied behavioral interventions identified through a review of the literature. (author...

    Insights from behavioral economics, which combines findings from psychology and economics, suggest that a deeper understanding of decision-making and behavior could improve human services program design and outcomes. Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to complex, large-scale human services programs.

    This report, from the early stages of OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project, provides an overview of behavioral economics, presents an approach to applying behavioral economics to social programs, shares insights from three case studies in the BIAS project, and concludes with some early lessons that have emerged from the work and next steps for the BIAS project. Additionally, a separate technical supplement to the report provides a description of 12 commonly applied behavioral interventions identified through a review of the literature. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Osborne, Cynthia; Dillon, Daniel; Bellows, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The importance of a college education has risen dramatically in recent decades. Individuals with a college degree have higher paying jobs, increased career flexibility, and are less likely to be unemployed; meanwhile, broad shifts in the U.S. economy continue to trim the number of jobs available to those without a college degree, further amplifying the significance of higher education. Though many parents recognize the importance of sending their children to college, financing a college education has also become increasingly difficult. Tuition costs continue to climb, raising the barrier to entry and saddling many low- and middle-income students with substantial student loan debt. This report presents evaluation outcomes from the Child Support for College (CS4C) pilot program, an innovative collaboration between public and private entities developed to promote college savings and attendance among those in the Texas child support system through incentivized college savings accounts. (Author introduction)

    The importance of a college education has risen dramatically in recent decades. Individuals with a college degree have higher paying jobs, increased career flexibility, and are less likely to be unemployed; meanwhile, broad shifts in the U.S. economy continue to trim the number of jobs available to those without a college degree, further amplifying the significance of higher education. Though many parents recognize the importance of sending their children to college, financing a college education has also become increasingly difficult. Tuition costs continue to climb, raising the barrier to entry and saddling many low- and middle-income students with substantial student loan debt. This report presents evaluation outcomes from the Child Support for College (CS4C) pilot program, an innovative collaboration between public and private entities developed to promote college savings and attendance among those in the Texas child support system through incentivized college savings accounts. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Karlan, Dean; Zinman, Jonathan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Mounting evidence suggests that behavioral factors depress wealth accumulation.  Although much research and policy focuses on asset accumulation, for many households debt decumulation is more efficient.   Yet the mass market for debt reduction services is thin.  So we develop and pilot test Borrow Less Tomorrow (BoLT), a behavioral approach to debt reduction that combines a simple decision aid, social commitment, and reminders.  Results from a sample of free tax-preparation clients with eligible debt in Tulsa (N=465) indicate strong demand for debt reduction: 41% of those offered BoLT used it to make a plan to accelerate debt repayment.  Using random assignment to BoLT offers, we find weak evidence that the BoLT package offered reduces credit card debt. (author abstract)

    Mounting evidence suggests that behavioral factors depress wealth accumulation.  Although much research and policy focuses on asset accumulation, for many households debt decumulation is more efficient.   Yet the mass market for debt reduction services is thin.  So we develop and pilot test Borrow Less Tomorrow (BoLT), a behavioral approach to debt reduction that combines a simple decision aid, social commitment, and reminders.  Results from a sample of free tax-preparation clients with eligible debt in Tulsa (N=465) indicate strong demand for debt reduction: 41% of those offered BoLT used it to make a plan to accelerate debt repayment.  Using random assignment to BoLT offers, we find weak evidence that the BoLT package offered reduces credit card debt. (author abstract)

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