Behavioral Insights for Work Support: Lessons from the BIAS Project

Publication Date: January 4, 2018

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  • Published: 2017


The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project conducted randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions with two programs that aim to increase the economic security of recipients’ families through employment. This brief provides an overview of the interventions the BIAS team designed in partnership with these sites, which targeted two primary problems:

  1. Los Angeles County was having trouble reengaging a population of TANF recipients who had previously been exempt from participating in California’s welfare-to-work program but lost this exemption when state policy changed.
  2. The Paycheck Plus program, which offers an earning supplement similar to the Earned Income Tax Credit, was facing challenges in getting participants to attend an informational meeting to remind them of the participant requirements.

One-page site summaries in this brief detail the problem or problems of interest at each agency, the behavioral intervention(s) implemented to address each of those problems, and the findings from the tests of the interventions.

Key Findings and Highlights

Each work support site saw a statistically significant improvement on at least one primary outcome of interest, with impacts ranging from 3.6 percentage points to 12.0 percentage points.

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