Financial security – being able to meet basic needs, cope with unexpected events, build assets, and experience economic mobility – enables individuals and families to be full and active participants in society. Due to this, the financial security of households drives economic growth and shared prosperity. By understanding and evaluating policies that promote equity and financial security, the Social Policy Institute supports a future where individuals and families can achieve financial stability and experience upward social mobility.
The Social Policy Institute finds innovative and scalable solutions to support financial security of individuals and families through practice, policy, and institutional change.
Research projects vary from working with local community partners to implement behavioral interventions to analyzing the impact of nationwide policies, such as the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit. Financial security research also includes identifying, implementing, and testing innovative financial technology program solutions, evaluating strategies to promote financial inclusion, and understanding the role that savings, credit, and debt play in driving household financial well-being. Through our Workforce Financial Stability Initiative (WFSI), we also examine the relationship between employer-level decisions around pay, scheduling, and benefits, and the financial security of low-wage and frontline workers.
The Employee Financial Wellness Programs (EFWPs) research agenda examines a new set of employer benefits and initiatives aimed at helping low- to moderate-income (LMI) workers achieve financial stability.
During the 2018 tax season, Prosperity Now and the Social Policy Institute partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Prosperity Now on an initiative to standardize and enhance the data collection efforts at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. These sites provide free tax filing services to low- and moderate-income tax filers, and often provide other services (such as bank account opening, financial coaching, and savings programs) in conjunction with tax filing.
SPI is currently developing additional experiments with Backer, which may include anchoring contribution amounts and providing asset growth charts that allow individuals to compare the returns of different contribution options.
Abstract Aspen FSP research on the Future of Wealth has shown that to succeed in the United States economy, people need to enter adulthood–a life stage when many critical investments are made – with a substantial amount of money to invest in themselves and their future. The importance of what we’re calling “investable sums” in young adulthood […]
Abstract Universal basic income has gained renewed interest among policy makers and researchers in the United States. Although research indicates that unconditional cash transfers produce diverse benefits for households, public support lags in part because of predicted unemployment and frivolous spending. To understand how Americans would reorganize their lives around unconditional cash transfers, this article […]