Implementing Cash Transfers to U.S. Families: Insights from the Baby’s First Years Study
D. Soman, J. Zhao, & S. Datta (Eds.), Using Cash Transfers to Build an Inclusive Society: A Behaviorally Informed Approach, University of Toronto Press, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2022
Date Written: November 1, 2022
By reducing poverty, cash allowances can have positive impacts on families with children. However, their distribution and uptake depend on successful implementation, the ease of receiving the money, and whether the intended near-universal reach to all eligible families is achieved. The U.S. context is especially challenging because no existing system is available to efficiently and quickly deliver financial supports to families with children during times of crisis. In this paper, we describe an approach used to disburse cash to families with children in the U.S. via a debit card mechanism as part of a multi-site, randomized controlled study of poverty reduction called Baby’s First Years. The behavioral economic insights that informed the design and implementation of the study’s cash transfer mechanism offer useful considerations regarding population inclusion and reach in large-scale programs.
Keywords: cash transfer, poverty, implementation, behavioral economics
JEL Classification: D63, I38, J18, O35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation