Economic Prosperity

When Social Distancing Is Impossible: Humanitarian Crises and Human Behavior

by Meghann Perez

This is part of a series of posts on behavioral science and COVID-19. Recent news has focused strongly on how the U.S. and many European countries will cope with the newfound “way of life” in adhering to public health guidelines for COVID-19. Largely missing in this narrative are the significant global challenges yet to come—such […]

Public Charge Rule Update: Still Pure Sludge, Now in Effect

by Jeremy Barofsky

Note: this is a timely update to a post about the policy implications of the sludge-filled public charge rule change. Click here to read the original post and view our analysis. On February 24, the federal government’s new “public charge” rule took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a temporary nationwide injunction blocking implementation of […]

Behavioral Science and the Census: Getting out the Count in NYC

by Julia Anderson and Laura Wolff

Each decade, the government makes an effort to count every person living in the United States. The census is absolutely essential to making government programs and services work as effectively as possible. For example, census data are used to determine the amount of federal funding for hundreds of programs – from Medicaid and student loans […]

How Can Behavioral Science Help People Find Decent Work?

by Jessica Jean-Francois

Aside from providing us with wages and spending power, work is a vehicle for social cohesion, aspirations for growth and a feeling of self-worth. In a world where 95% of the total labor force is technically employed, it can be hard to believe that as many as 300 million people have paid work but live […]

Can Behavioral Science Help College Students with Children Graduate?

by Cassie Taylor

Without a doubt, college degrees remain key to economic mobility and well-being in the U.S. Getting a college degree opens up new career possibilities and helps people earn more income over their lifetimes. Yet far too many aspiring graduates never obtain the degrees they are seeking, which leaves them without the benefit of the degree […]

13 Ways Behavioral Science Improved Lives in 2019

by ideas42

  Each year, the behavioral science community expands our knowledge about humans and decision-making and builds evidence for how to use behavioral science to improve lives. This rapidly growing community is made up of brilliant researchers, dedicated practitioners who apply behavioral science in their work solving problems, pioneering organizations that fund behavioral innovation around the […]

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

by Jeremy Barofsky, Allison Yates-Berg & Ariadna Vargas

  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 […]