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.
Project: Refund to Savings (R2S)
Despard, M. R., Taylor, S. H., Ren, C., Russell, B. D., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Raghavan, R. (2018). Effects of a tax-time savings experiment on material and health care hardship among low-income filers. Journal of Poverty, 22(1), 156–178. doi:10.1080/10875549.2017.1348431