Economic Prosperity

“Public Charge” Rule (Pure Sludge) Already Reduced Social Safety Net Access

by Allison Yates-Berg & Jeremy Barofsky

  The Trump Administration’s expanded “public charge” rule was set to begin on October 15th before being temporarily blocked by a federal judge only days before going into effect. If implemented, the rule would withhold green cards from immigrants who use common social safety net programs such as Medicaid, which provides health insurance to low-income […]

Poverty Retold: Why Narratives Matter for Economic Mobility

by Allison Yates-Berg

This post originally appeared on the Arithmetic of Compassion. What is it like to live in poverty in the United States? Without lived experience, you probably can’t imagine the constant set of challenging choices that people living with low incomes confront each day. You may also have a hard time imagining the tremendous resilience and […]

New Proposal to Change SNAP Eligibility Will Hurt Families

by Allison Yates-Berg

How many kids should go hungry to prevent someone from getting food stamps they don’t “deserve?”  This summer, while volunteering to help the elderly apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a retired Minnesota millionaire decided to apply for SNAP himself to see if he could “game” the system. He qualified for the program […]

Cash Plus Behavioral Science Makes an Effective Anti-Poverty Tool Even Better for Beneficiaries

by ideas42

While the widespread adoption of cash transfer programs is a significant step in reducing global poverty, innovative solutions are needed to improve their efficiency. Since 2015, ideas42 and the World Bank have worked together to bring behavioral innovations to cash transfer programs. Most recently, we’ve been working with the governments of Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar […]

How Should We Estimate the Number of People in the U.S. Experiencing Poverty?

by Matt Darling & Allison Yates-Berg

How should we estimate the number of people in the United States experiencing poverty? The official measurement the government uses is the “poverty threshold.” This metric, developed in the 1960s, assesses whether a family’s income is enough to buy a basket of goods (valued at three times what the average family spent on food in […]

What’s It Like to Partner with a Behavioral Design Lab?

by Eva Matos and Emily Zimmerman

Over the past three years, ideas42 has collaborated with nine financial institutions across Mexico and Chile to leverage behavioral science to support their clients’ financial health—implementing 40 interventions for 440,000 study participants, and ultimately reaching over 21 million people. Supporting financial health around the world is one of the areas we focus our work to […]

Bringing Behavioral Design to NYC Non-profits with the Behavioral Design Center

by Laura Wolff

Last year, with support from W.T. Grant Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and the Booth Ferris Foundation, we launched the NYC Behavioral Design Center (BDC) to bring behavioral science insights and design strategies to New York non-profit organizations with a focus on strengthening service delivery and civic engagement. By offering support through multiple channels including in-depth […]

Social Norms for Social Good: 3 Insights to Apply

by Liana Johnson

Social norms are a powerful tool for improving lives—they have helped people get healthier, save more money, and take positive environmental actions. While social norms sound simple—“tell people what others are doing and they’ll change their behavior!”—there are plenty of nuances to leveraging them for social good. Apply these three insights to optimize your social […]

Work Requirements Don’t Work

by Anthony Barrows

In 2015, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) prevented 8.4 million people from living in poverty. This essential and effective safety net program helps people with low incomes purchase food for themselves and their families—an estimated 40.8 million Americans were living in poverty in 2015; absent SNAP benefits, that number would have been 49.1 million. Despite its […]

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