Skip to main content
Back to Top

SSRC Library

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.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

  • Conduct a search and filter parameters as desired.
  • "Check" the box next to the resources for which you would like a citation.
  • Select "Download Selected Citation" at the top of the Library Search Page.
  • Select your export style:
    • Text File.
    • RIS Format.
    • APA format.
  • Select submit and download your citations.

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: 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: 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: Hall, Crystal Celestine
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2008

    In three parts, I explore factors contributing to the behavior of low-income individuals. Specifically, I have identified issues relating to trust, mental accounting and self-affirmation. First, in Studies 1-3, I explore the extent to which concerns of trust drive preferences for financial contracts of low-income individuals versus the wealthy. In a nutshell, I find that when selecting among contracts for buying or selling a good or service, low-income respondents (relative to the more wealthy) appear to weigh the perceived trustworthiness of the contract partner more heavily (as opposed to focusing on the financial terms of the contract). In addition, I explore self-reported rationales for these choices and general notions of trustworthiness among low and high-income groups.

    Studies 4-5 show that low-income individuals do not reliably replicate a well-established finding regarding savings preference. Specifically, when considering spending time to travel in order to save a certain amount of money, low-income participants do not consistently show a preference for savings...

    In three parts, I explore factors contributing to the behavior of low-income individuals. Specifically, I have identified issues relating to trust, mental accounting and self-affirmation. First, in Studies 1-3, I explore the extent to which concerns of trust drive preferences for financial contracts of low-income individuals versus the wealthy. In a nutshell, I find that when selecting among contracts for buying or selling a good or service, low-income respondents (relative to the more wealthy) appear to weigh the perceived trustworthiness of the contract partner more heavily (as opposed to focusing on the financial terms of the contract). In addition, I explore self-reported rationales for these choices and general notions of trustworthiness among low and high-income groups.

    Studies 4-5 show that low-income individuals do not reliably replicate a well-established finding regarding savings preference. Specifically, when considering spending time to travel in order to save a certain amount of money, low-income participants do not consistently show a preference for savings on proportionally larger sums of money (as has been previously demonstrated in this literature). Instead, they seem to focus more on absolute amounts of savings.

    In Study 6, I use a self-affirmation intervention on a group of low-income individuals. Self-affirmation theory is based on the general premise that individuals are motivated to protect their perceived sense of self-worth. When used as a behavioral intervention, affirmation has been shown to attenuate or eliminate the effects of a host of psychological phenomena, including those related to stereotype threat. After random assignment to either a self-affirmation or neutral condition, participants' interest in a financial benefits program is measured. Individuals who have been affirmed show a greater likelihood of accepting information about the Earned Income Tax Credit program.

    In sum, I argue that there are subtle differences in what features low versus high-income groups focus on. Generalizing from the findings of high-income individuals causes these nuances to be overlooked. From a practical standpoint, a better understanding of the nuanced differences between low and high-income decision makers can facilitate the development of more efficient policies and programs targeted at lower income populations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Greenberg, David; Dechausay, Nadine; Fraker, Carolyn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards was an experimental, privately funded, conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that attempted to help families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. As suggested by their name, CCTs provide cash assistance conditioned on families’ efforts to improve their “human capital” — the skills that may reduce their poverty over the long term. Family Rewards, which provided payments for undertaking a range of activities and reaching certain goals related to health, education, and employment, was the first implementation of a comprehensive CCT model in a developed country. Such programs have grown rapidly across lower and middle-income countries and have met with some important successes. Family Rewards was one of 40 initiatives sponsored by New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a unit within the Office of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that is responsible for testing innovative strategies to reduce the number of New Yorkers who are living in poverty. Two national, New York-based nonprofit organizations — MDRC, a nonpartisan social policy...

    Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards was an experimental, privately funded, conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that attempted to help families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. As suggested by their name, CCTs provide cash assistance conditioned on families’ efforts to improve their “human capital” — the skills that may reduce their poverty over the long term. Family Rewards, which provided payments for undertaking a range of activities and reaching certain goals related to health, education, and employment, was the first implementation of a comprehensive CCT model in a developed country. Such programs have grown rapidly across lower and middle-income countries and have met with some important successes. Family Rewards was one of 40 initiatives sponsored by New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a unit within the Office of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that is responsible for testing innovative strategies to reduce the number of New Yorkers who are living in poverty. Two national, New York-based nonprofit organizations — MDRC, a nonpartisan social policy research firm, and Seedco, a workforce and economic development organization — worked in close partnership with CEO to design the demonstration. Seedco, together with a small network of local community-based organizations, operated Family Rewards, while MDRC managed the overall demonstration and is conducting the evaluation. A consortium of private funders supported the project. Family Rewards ended in August of 2010 after a planned, three-year program period, although its evaluation is continuing. (author abstract)

  • 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)

Sort by

Topical Area(s)

Popular Searches

Source

Year

Year ranges from 2004 to 2018

Reference Type

Research Methodology

Geographic Focus

Target Populations