Framing the Message: Using Behavioral Economics to Engage TANF Recipients

Published: March 10, 2016
Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment, Strengthening Families, Healthy Marriage & Responsible Fatherhood
Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Research Portfolio | Learn more about this project, Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS), 2010-2016 | Learn more about this project

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.

Two behaviorally informed notices went out to different groups of participants:

  • A notice highlighting the losses they might face by not attending the reengagement appointment; and
  • A notice highlighting the benefits they might receive by attending.

A third control group did not receive either behaviorally informed notice.

Participants received the notice one week before their appointment. The test found that receiving a behaviorally informed notice increased the percentage of group members who engaged in the program within 30 days of their scheduled reengagement appointment, with the increase driven by the loss notice.

Last Reviewed: December 18, 2018