Policy for Shared Prosperity Series: Deep Dives into Applying Behavioral Science to Policymaking in the United States

Upcoming Sessions

Check back soon for upcoming programming! In the meantime, seminar recordings are available below.

Past Sessions

July 26, 2022  

Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Scarcity by Removing Asset Limits for Public Benefits Programs

w/ Kelli Garcia, Director, ideas42 Policy Lab
& Signe-Mary McKernan, Vice President of the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, and codirector of the Wealth and Financial Well-Being initiative at the Urban Institute

Many public assistance programs currently place limits on how many resources people can have in order to participate. For example, a family in Georgia has to have less than $1000 in savings in order to qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This is less than the average rent for an apartment in Atlanta. Resource limits like these force people who participate in programs that help them through tough times to live in a constant state of economic insecurity or risk losing benefits they need.

Join our Policy Lab for a discussion about how eliminating resource limits in public assistance programs is a behaviorally sound way to not only help families in times of crisis but also help close wealth gaps, combat harmful narratives, and increase trust in (and engagement with) government and financial institutions.

June 28, 2022  

Reducing Administrative Burden

w/ Kelli Garcia, Director, ideas42 Policy Lab
Erika Hanson, Staff Attorney, Health Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society
Pamela Herd, Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University
& Darren Liddell, Entrepreneur, ideas42 Venture Studio

The social safety net is designed to fail: let's rebuild it. Historically, it has been designed to make it hard for people to access the benefits they need through a series of hassles, paperwork, appointments, and bureaucracy known as administrative burden.

We hosted a panel of experts to discuss the policy mechanisms and recommendations that would remove administrative burden through clear case studies such as the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan and the loosening of many restrictions in other public benefits programs due to COVID-19 in the United States.

May 24, 2022  

Meet the ideas42 Policy Lab

w/ Kelli Garcia, Director, ideas42 Policy Lab
& Jeremy Barofsky, Vice President of Applied Research and Evaluation, ideas42

Many policies are well intended, but more often than not they’re not designed to account for how humans actually behave, and they’re rarely designed to help those who need them the most: those with the fewest financial resources. Furthermore, many policies have advantaged certain groups over others, and specifically disadvantaged Black Americans. Behavioral science, fortunately, has a great deal to offer in creating and designing public policy and therefore improving the contexts in which people operate.

Join ideas42's Policy Lab for an overview of how we have used insights from behavioral science to make concrete improvements to laws, rules, and regulations at the Federal, State, and local level to improve the lives of people living in poverty.