Effects of a tax-time savings experiment on material and health care hardship among low-Income filers

Mathieu R. DESPARD*, Samuel TAYLOR, Chunhui REN, Blair RUSSELL, Michal GRINSTEIN-WEISS, Ramesh RAGHAVAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Material and health care hardship is common among households with low incomes and is associated with a host of adverse outcomes but can be mitigated with having savings. The authors assessed the effects of online tax-time savings interventions informed by behavioral economics on hardship among a sample of low- and moderate-income tax filers (N = 4,738). The authors find that filers who received an intervention had a statistically significant, lower probability of both types of hardship 6 months after tax filing, compared to the control group. However, this result does not hold when incorporating household financial characteristics and prior hardship to models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-178
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Poverty
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date6 Sept 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis gratefully acknowledges the funders who made the Refund to Savings Initiative possible: the Ford Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Intuit, Inc., the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Behavioral economics
  • earned income tax credit
  • health care hardship
  • material hardship
  • savings

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