The BIAS team has done a remarkable job in a short period of designing and implementing 15 tests of low-cost behavioral interventions to improve the efficacy of key U.S. poverty alleviation policies using rigorous randomized controlled trials. I found several of the results of the behavioral interventions to be striking. The first is the larger impacts of outreach and reminders (in the BIAS interventions in Texas and Washington) for inducing one-time applications for child support order modifications among incarcerated noncustodial parents (that appear to be clearly in their interest) than for reminders trying to increase actual child support payments by those parents.
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It seems that behavioral nudges (defined as subtle and modest changes that help improve individual decision making), reminders, or information are not going to be sufficient to have large impacts on compliance when individuals don’t have the financial resources to comply or don’t view the required payments to be “legitimate.”
Read the full article by Lawrence Katz about human services from mdrc.org
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