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  • Behavioral Economics and Social Policy: Designing Innovative Solutions for Programs Supported by the Administration for Children and Families

    Insights from behavioral economics, which combines findings from psychology and economics, suggest that a deeper understanding of decision-making and behavior could improve human services program design and outcomes. Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to complex, large-scale human services...
  • Taking the First Step: Using Behavioral Economics to Help Incarcerated Parents Apply for Child Support Order Modifications

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project is the first major effort to apply a behavioral economics lens to programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in the United States. This report presents findings from a behavioral intervention designed to increase the number of incarcerated noncustodial parents in Texas who apply for modifications to reduce the amount of their child support orders. Using a method called “behavioral diagnosis and design”...
  • Nudges for Child Support: Applying Behavioral Insights to Increase Collections

    This impact report from the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project presents findings from four tests of behavioral interventions intended to increase the percentage of parents who made child support payments and the dollar amount of collections per parent in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Fatherhood: Ongoing Research and Program Evaluation Efforts

    Many programs within the Administration for Children and Families work with fathers to promote economic self-sufficiency and social well-being for them and their families. As a part of that work, we also implement rigorous research and evaluation projects designed to improve our understanding of how best to serve those fathers. This brief describes research and evaluation projects related to the Responsible Fatherhood grant program and noncustodial parents, and other research related...
  • The Power of Prompts: Using Behavioral Insights to Encourage People to Participate

    This report presents findings from a study of two behavioral interventions — one that used behavioral messaging postcards and text message reminders to encourage participation in an optional meeting, and one that made the meeting easier to attend. The goal of each intervention was to increase participant attendance at an optional informational meeting for Paycheck Plus, an earnings supplement program in which participants had previously enrolled. These meetings gave clients an...
  • Reminders to Pay: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Child Support Payments

    This report presents findings from two behavioral interventions designed to increase the collection of child support payments in Franklin County, Ohio. As part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project, the Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency implemented two interventions informed by behavioral economics principles to increase child support payments from noncustodial parents who do not have income withholding and need to take action each month...
  • Framing the Message: Using Behavioral Economics to Engage TANF Recipients

    This report presents findings from an intervention designed to increase the number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients who “reengaged” in Los Angeles County’s welfare-to-work program...
  • Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: Ongoing Research and Program Evaluation Efforts

    Several programs within the Administration for Children and Families work with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in an effort to promote economic self-sufficiency and social well-being for them and their families. As a part of that work, we also implement rigorous research and evaluation projects designed to improve our understanding of how best to serve these individuals. This brief highlights and describes these projects...
  • Engaging Providers and Clients: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase On-Time Child Care Subsidy Renewals

    This report presents findings from a study designed in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to increase the number of clients who renew their child care subsidy on time. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) team diagnosed factors that might inhibit on-time renewal and designed three interventions for improvement...
  • Behavioral Buzz: June 2014 – Using “Traffic Light Colors” as a Cue to Act

    Updates on behavioral economics and the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project...

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