Inclusive Growth Feature: Jorge Riopedre on Why Inclusive Growth Matters

Author: Jorge Riopedre, executive director of Delmar Divine and advisor of Inclusive Growth in St. Louis event series. St. Louis has historically been segregated, with people of color living in areas that were purposely removed from economic opportunities. In my work at Delmar Divine, I can see firsthand why inclusive growth matters. The disregard for […]

SPI Celebrates Graduate Policy Scholars!

The Social Policy Institute wants to celebrate the Graduate Policy Scholars! Below is a form that asks you to reflect on your experience within the Graduate Policy Scholars. Please share your thoughts on GPS whether or not you would like to publically include your answers in our virtual celebration of GPS graduates. For those of […]

Women can’t be stopped: Applying resiliency of pandemic struggles to acquire new, high-quality job opportunities

International Women’s Day marks one year since the COVID-19 crisis began. Over the past year, the pandemic drastically cut women from the workforce in the United States and beyond. However, despite all of this, there is a chance for a new opportunity. Women around the world have an opportunity now to apply their resiliency to acquire new skills and re-enter the workforce in industries where they have been historically under-represented.

Improving Access and Minimizing Obstacles for Medicaid Buy-In Participation

Medicaid Buy-In (MBI) has received public and policymaker attention in recent years as an option for states to expand access to healthcare. “Eligibility can be so confusing and complicated it presents an obstacle for providers and government alike to communicate clearly, never mind promote Medicaid buy-in for working people with disabilities.” Kimberly Lackey, Director of […]

Cash assistance (TANF) recipients suffer the brunt of evictions despite the moratorium

New evidence from the Social Policy Institute’s multi-wave Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 Survey shows that during the pandemic, TANF recipients were evicted at significantly higher rates than non-recipients, even when accounting for differences in demographics, income, assets, recent job loss, and how many months behind they are in rental payments.

COVID-19 School Meal Policies as Long-term Strategies to Fight Child Food Insecurity

In response to COVID-19 and the nationwide school closures that followed, the federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Through these policies, the USDA was able to grant meal waivers to help schools and community organizations provide meals and snacks during COVID-related […]

The Babies in the River: Creating Equitable Safety Nets and Springboards to Opportunity

by Nisha G. Patel, Senior Fellow, SPI  Some 25 years ago, I was a bright-eyed, young, graduate student at the Brown School and I learned the parable of the babies in the river. The townspeople in a village noticed that babies were beginning to appear in a river and were in danger of getting swept away by the current. Some people immediately jumped into the river, scooping up the babies to save them from drowning. […]

Nudging Parents to Improve Children’s Oral Health: A Field Study

This research brief is part of a series by the Social Impact Nudgeathon initiative. This initiative incorporated insights from behavioral economics into the design and delivery of social welfare programs. Developed through a partnership between the Joint Distribution Committee in Israel (JDC-Israel) and the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University in St. Louis, this initiative is among the first of its kind to launch in Israel. […]

Increasing Successful Completion of Practical Engineering Diploma Programs

This research brief is part of a series by the Social Impact Nudgeathon initiative. This initiative incorporated insights from behavioral economics into the design and delivery of social welfare programs. Developed through a partnership between the Joint Distribution Committee in Israel (JDC-Israel) and the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University in St. Louis, this initiative is among the first of its kind to launch in Israel. […]

Creating Inclusive Access to Education, Training & Technology

Watch recording from Feb. 10-11 event, Creating Inclusive Access to Education, Training & Technology, a discussion about the opportunities to create inclusive access to education, training & technology for under-represented populations in St. Louis.

Call for Proposals: Identifying and addressing the challenges of COVID-19 through artificial intelligence, technology, and big data

The Social Policy Institute (SPI) and the McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University in St. Louis are seeking proposals from Washington University researchers and international partners that identify and address the challenges of COVID-19 through artificial intelligence, technology, and big data. Proposals are due by Feb. 26, 2021. This is the second year the […]

A Message from the Director

As we are opening a near year, we are also experiencing the tragedy of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. It was a sad day in our nation’s history and highlights the ever-widening divisions within the country. Despite the shocking and unprecedented moment in American history, Congressional leaders were undeterred and […]

In Israel, households with children are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Like many families across the globe, Israeli families have been facing the challenges of raising children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only do Israeli families have to adjust to large changes in their child(ren)’s schooling, but they are also forced to cope with the financial shocks, such as job and/or income loss that come with […]

7 Tips to Mitigate Hoarding Behavior

Mary Acri has seven tips to manage feelings of powerlessness, helplessness and fear without stockpiling toilet paper as the pandemic persists.

The Far-Reaching Impacts of COVID-19 on the Financial Lives of Israelis – Differences by Religion and Ethnicity

Press Release: October 25, 2020 With a COVID-19 death toll exceeding 2,000, Israel now has one of the highest per capita deaths in the world. Feelings of frustration and despair have resulted in the largest anti-government demonstrations since the establishment of the country, emphasizing that a central crisis during the COVID-19 is a growing divide […]

Three reasons young Israeli adults may face catastrophic, long-term financial burden from COVID-19

Press Release: September 25, 2020 The potentially catastrophic, long-term financial impacts of COVID-19 on young adults are highlighted in the Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 Survey[1] in Israel, which was administered between June 4 and July 1 by the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis in partnership with Mastercard. The survey results found […]

A different dialogue: Lifting up community voices

community photo

By: Sarah Cowart, communications manager for Social Policy Institute; Pamela Chan, associate director for Social Policy Institute, and Daniel Barker, director of research and knowledge, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth If you attended “Building an Inclusive Economy” on October 7 with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis (SPI) and Mastercard Center […]

Supporting Inclusive Households in Building Financial Security

Supporting Inclusive Households

Join us virtually for Supporting Inclusive Households in Building Financial Security, 12:30-2:00 p.m. (CT) on Dec. 10, 2020, for a discussion about the opportunities to equitably support the financial situations of households.

SPI introduces new program with Brown School for students interested in data and statistics

Data and statistics are foundational to policy research and practice. As Social Policy Institute continues to grow, developing opportunities for people to increase knowledge and skills in these areas is a focus of our organization. One example of how we are doing this is a new opportunity led by the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and Social Policy Institute: Data and Statistics for Policy Practice.

Working Parents in COVID-19: The Impact and the Policy Response

Michal Grinstein-Weiss, director of the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis (SPI), and Nisha Patel, senior fellow at SPI, spoke on a panel hosted by the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences on Oct. 29, 2020 about the impact of COVID-19 on working families, including original research from the Socioeconomic Impacts […]

Can pre-commitment increase savings deposits? Evidence from a tax-time field experiment

This experiment tested combinations of behavioral strategies to promote savings including (1) asking filers at the start of tax preparation to pre-commit to saving their refund, and (2) choice architecture manipulations that emphasized directly depositing their refund into savings accounts or savings bond purchases.

SPI researchers featured at 2020 APPAM Conference

Seven Social Policy Institute researchers will present their papers and/or host discussions at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management conference on November 11-13.

Emergency savings are a potential lifeline for households in financial distress due to COVID-19

Many U.S. households have lost a job and/or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These types of losses can influence an individual’s level of life satisfaction and thus, their overall health and well-being. One possible strategy to mitigate the impacts of economic volatility for U.S. individuals and households is to build a rainy-day fund. A […]

Hardship is greatest among vulnerable Israelis already struggling financially

By: Olga Kondratjeva, data analyst III, Social Policy Institute; Michal Grinstein-Weiss, director, Social Policy Institute; Talia Schwartz-Tayri, researcher, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; John Gal, professor, The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; senior researcher, the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel; & Stephen Roll, […]

Research found 16% of job loss or layoffs reported payment difficulties

The story below is a translation from an article printed in Hebrew in Israel Today, the largest newspaper in Israel, on Oct. 5, 2020. A new study published here for the first time examined the effect of the first lockdown on households using 2,300 Israelis from June 4 to early July. The data show that […]

Safe, affordable child care is a right, not a privilege

As the United States nears the seventh month of weathering COVID-19’s impact, it has become clear that the economy will not recover simply by encouraging businesses to re-open or consumers to keep shopping. Working adults with children are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and will continue to struggle without stronger federal and state support for child care.

Lee twice recognized as leader in field (Links to an external site)

Hedwig Lee, professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and faculty affiliate for Social Policy Institute, was elected to the prestigious Sociological Research Association. The highly selective honor society elects up to 14 new members each year; the sole criterion for selection is excellence in research.

Building an Inclusive Economy: Oct. 7

This event has passed. Watch a recording or see below. Historically, as the St Louis economy grows, benefits are not equally, nor equitably, distributed. As we look to rebuilding our economy from COVID-19 devastation, now is the time to consider how St. Louis can change to become a model for a truly inclusive economy that […]

Apply Now for the 2020-2021 Graduate Policy Scholar Program

If you are interested in policy, community organizing, advocacy and more, the Graduate Policy Scholar Program is a great match for you! The Graduate Policy Scholar Program is committed to building a community of policy-interested graduate students at Washington University. Over this coming academic year, Scholars-in-Training will supplement their coursework with skill-building and networking experiences designed […]

Students Share their Experiences with the Graduate Policy Scholars Program

The Graduate Policy Scholars program provides students from all fields of study with impactful opportunities and training outside of their curriculum. Offered by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute in partnership with the Social Policy Institute, the yearlong program inspires students to pursue their unique interests. Nearly 120 students have completed the GPS program through its first […]

Grinstein-Weiss and Ferris receive Washington University’s Outstanding Faculty & Staff Mentor Award

Michal Grinstein-Weiss, director of the Social Policy Institute, and Dan Ferris, director of policy and planning at the Social Policy Institute, were selected out of nearly 100 nominations as recipients of the 2020 Washington University Outstanding Faculty Mentor and Staff Mentor Awards. Awarded by the university’s Graduate Student Senate, students from all of WashU’s schools nominated […]

Event Replay: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Racial, Gender, and Generational Wealth Gaps

Below is a recording of the June 25, 2020 event, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Racial, Gender, and Generational Wealth Gaps, hosted by the Social Policy Institute at Washington University and the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. View Presentation Slides LEARN MORE: The Social Policy Institute […]

Medicaid expansion in Missouri – Needed now more than ever

On May 26, Governor Mike Parson announced the Medicaid Expansion Amendment would be moved up to the August 4, 2020 primary ballot. Despite the governor’s explanation of creating more time to budget the expansion, the move to an election with historically low voter turnout threatens the passage of the bill at a time when Medicaid […]

Gig work can be a lifeline, but it may be disappearing for those that need it

When you think of gig work—types of work where online apps and platforms allow workers to get paid for a range of services including ride-sharing, home repairs, art sales, and property rental—you might imagine a flexible job that enables anyone to earn income. If you have a reliable car and a smartphone, you can download […]

Material hardship among lower-income households: the role of liquid assets and place

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides substantial financial support to low-income workers, yet around a quarter of EITC payments are estimated to be erroneous or fraudulent. Beginning in 2017, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 requires the Internal Revenue Service to spend additional time processing early EITC claims, delaying the issuance of tax refunds. Leveraging unique data, we investigate how delayed tax refunds affected the experience of hardship and unsecured debt among EITC recipients. We find that early filers experienced increased food insecurity relative to later filers after the implementation of the refund delay.

The impact of tax refund delays on the experience of hardship and unsecured debt

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides substantial financial support to low-income workers, yet around a quarter of EITC payments are estimated to be erroneous or fraudulent. Beginning in 2017, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 requires the Internal Revenue Service to spend additional time processing early EITC claims, delaying the issuance of tax refunds. Leveraging unique data, we investigate how delayed tax refunds affected the experience of hardship and unsecured debt among EITC recipients. We find that early filers experienced increased food insecurity relative to later filers after the implementation of the refund delay.