In this commentary originally published in Route Fifty, experts from MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science and BIT North America describe how government agencies can use behavioral science to adapt policies, programs, and services during the continuing pandemic crisis.
Two-Year Results of a Program to Reduce Poverty and Reform Welfare
An evaluation of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), the state’s welfare waiver program, found that the program produced substantially larger increases in employment and earnings among welfare recipients living in public or subsidized housing than among recipients in private housing. This paper examines several possible reasons that may account for these findings, including differences in characteristics between the two groups of recipients, differences in their proximity to jobs, differences in residential stability, which might aid in the transition to work, and interactions between MFIP’s work incentives and the public/subsidized housing rent rules. The evidence, although indirect, suggests that interactions between MFIP rules and the rent rules in public housing helped to produce larger employment impacts for residents in public or subsidized housing.
Implementation of a Program to Reduce Poverty and Reform Welfare