Roundtable 3 Recap: Mapping Your Data Impact Journey

How can social sector organizations use data to increase their impact, and how can they ensure that impact will lead to equitable outcomes? These are guiding questions addressed in our roundtable series hosted by the Social Policy Institute’s Data Science for Social Impact initiative, which kicked off on October 20, 2021, and continues through November […]

Financial Shocks and Financial Well-Being: What Builds Resiliency in Lower-Income Households?

Households in the U.S. regularly experience unexpected negative income or expense shocks, and low- and moderate-income households experience these shocks at disproportionately high rates. Relatively little is known about the impact these shocks have on households’ subjective sense of financial well-being, and how access to different types of liquidity (e.g., liquid assets, credit cards, social […]

Did government benefits help Israeli households avoid hardship during COVID-19? Evidence from a national survey

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Israel quickly introduced aggressive social distancing measures to curb the virus spread and adapted its unemployment insurance program in response to rising unemployment rates. This study examines the relationship between household income and the experience of material hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel and […]

Expanded Child Tax Credit payments have not reduced employment

Approximately 60 million American children living in 35 million households are now receiving monthly payments from the federal government as part of the temporary Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion. Recently, a debate has emerged over whether or not the expanded CTC will cause parents to leave the workforce. On one side of the debate, a […]

15 Actionable Strategies to Embrace Inclusive Leadership

Speakers at the Inclusive Growth in St. Louis event series on Sept. 23 identified 15 strategies to proactively support and amplify diverse voices and perspectives as discussed by the speakers at the event.

Promoting Childhood Vaccination During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As schools start back up, many parents are concerned about the health effects of COVID-19 in children. However, childhood diseases beyond COVID-19 are still threats to children’s well-being. In the early stages of the pandemic, there was a large decrease in childhood vaccination rates for diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis, measles and mumps.

Apply to become a Graduate Policy Scholar!

Applications for the Graduate Policy Scholar program are now open to all graduate students at Washington University in St. Louis! The Graduate Policy Scholar program provides students from all fields of study with impactful opportunities and training in policy. Offered by the Social Policy Institute and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, the yearlong program provides students […]

Use of Public Benefits Over the First Year of Pandemic

In response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. federal government enacted initiatives designed to help households weather the pandemic’s effects. These initiatives included expansions of existing programs, such as unemployment insurance, as well as new programs like the economic impact payments. In this brief, we investigate the extent to which […]

Impact of COVID-19 on Households with Children

The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in employment, child care and education. As a result, both parents and children experienced a variety of hardships in their work and education. While these hardships had reverberating effects throughout households, they were not equally distributed across families with children. In this brief, we explore the effects of COVID-19 […]

Employment Changes During COVID-19

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. unemployment peaked at 14.4%. While some workers have returned to payrolls, others have been left behind. This brief examines the nuances of employment changes over the course of the pandemic and the impact of those changes on household financial well-being. Our study finds that the proportion of employees who […]

Housing Hardships During COVID-19

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. households were burdened by the cost of rental and mortgage payments, burdens which disproportionately fell on Black and Hispanic families. Using a 5-wave survey, we examined whether disparities in housing cost burden continued throughout the pandemic and trends in how households fell behind on rent and mortgage payments. […]

State-by-state: How are families in the U.S. using their Child Tax Credit payments?

The temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is projected to cut American child poverty by more than half. The CTC expansion provides families with $3,600 for every child in the household under the age of six and $3,000 for every child between the ages of six and 17. The vast majority of U.S. […]

How are families in the U.S. using their Child Tax Credit payments? A 50 state analysis

The temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is projected to cut American child poverty by more than half. The CTC expansion provides families with $3,600 for every child in the household under the age of six and $3,000 for every child between the ages of six and 17. The vast majority of U.S. […]

New longitudinal Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 Survey calls for sustained public benefit support

The Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis (SPI) released new findings on the impact of COVID-19 on housing hardship, the importance of employment and associated benefits, such as the Payment Protection Program, family hardships, and efficiency of public benefits designed to support households in need, such as SNAP, TANF, and unemployment insurance benefits.

Embracing Inclusive Leadership

Join us at 12:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, Sept. 23 for an event discussing strategies to create inclusive leadership.

The Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 Study: Survey Methodology Report

When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and economic shutdowns began in March 2020, households across the United States were faced with an unprecedented crisis that would affect their health, financial security and overall well-being for an unforeseeable amount of time. In order to examine and track the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic on households, as […]

“Take my word for it”: Group Texts and Testimonials Enhance State and Federal Student Aid Applications

As the cost of college continues to rise, it has become increasingly important for students to apply for financial aid. However, many students are unaware of the benefits of FAFSA. We launched a field experiment with a non-profit organization to explore the impact of text message interventions on FAFSA application rates. 2,236 potential students were […]

Pinching pennies or money to burn? The role of grit in financial behaviors

We explore whether gritty individuals are better savers by virtue of their wealth or due to diligent choices that benefit their long-term economic health. We test these competing hypotheses by examining the ways in which grit influences how LMI tax filers report spending or saving their tax refund in the months following tax filing. We […]

Timely and Well-Targeted Financial Assistance during Covid-19

The Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University in St. Louis partnered with PerkUp Financial Health LLC, a financial services technology company, to study an emergency financial assistance program offered to employees of three hotels in New Orleans, LA who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. PerkUp serves as a technology hub for a […]

Policy & practice: How to build long-term financial wellness

We know that liquid assets provide a safety net for short-term financial well-being, but how can we transition from short-term financial stability to longer-term financial health? Researchers, Jeremy Burke, Stephen Roll and Emily Gallagher shared their findings on the mitigation effect of liquid assets during a financial shock, the leading factors that contribute to long-term […]

Inclusive and equitable tech reskilling at LaunchCode in St. Louis (Links to an external site)

Recognizing the shortcomings of equitable hiring and reskilling in the tech sector, LaunchCode, a St. Louis-based technology training organization, implemented a new model for equitable re-skilling by combining computer science training with a paid apprenticeship and by altering its recruitment and retention efforts. SPI partnered with LaunchCode to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts in […]

Internationally collaborative seed grant recipients: Where are they now?

Over the last two years, the Social Policy Institute and McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University in St. Louis have partnered in sponsoring internationally collaborative research. The first projects, funded at the beginning of 2020, explored social policy globally to understand systemic challenges within and between nations. However, as with everything in 2020, the […]

Why are Israeli parents of 12-15-year-olds hesitant to vaccinate their children?

By Yaniv Shlomo, Senior Fellow; Oren Heller, Postdoctoral Research Associate; Daniel Yeshua, Program Manager; and Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Director Download a PDF to read this text in Hebrew: מדוע הורים לבני 12 עד 15 מהססים לחסן את ילדיהם? While most Israeli adults are vaccinated, 62% of parents are hesitant to vaccinate their 12-15-year-old children. The findings […]

Inclusive growth feature: Building an inclusive workforce in St. Louis

This inclusive growth feature is one of a multi-part feature on how to support inclusive growth in St. Louis by our advisory committee for the Inclusive Growth in St. Louis Event Series. In my hometown of St. Louis, inclusive growth means that everyone in our community has access to education and training to obtain well-paying […]

Celebrating the Graduate Policy Scholars 2021 Cohort

The Graduate Policy Scholars program provides students from all fields of study with impactful opportunities and training in policy. Offered by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute in partnership with the Social Policy Institute, the yearlong program provides students with opportunities to develop skills in advocacy, analysis and/or organizing. During the program, students receive guidance and mentorship […]

Inclusive Growth Feature: Impacting policy through collaboration

Jackie Hutchinson, Executive Director of the Consumers Council of Missouri, sat down with the Social Policy Institute to discuss her career in advocating for equity and inclusive growth. Throughout her career she’s found her greatest impact through policy action and collaboration. This inclusive growth feature is one of a multi-part feature on how to support […]

The Impact of State Earned Income Tax Credit Increases on Material and Medical Hardship

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides substantial financial assistance to low- and moderate-income workers and has been shown to reduce poverty and encourage employment. Many U.S. states have also implemented their own EITCs to supplement the federal tax credits. Leveraging unique administrative and survey data and employing a difference-in-differences approach, this study investigates […]

Israel’s next president has long-standing relationship with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University

With Isaac Herzog set to become Israel’s 11th president later this summer, the Social Policy Institute (SPI) reflects on its long-standing partnership with the future president. SPI director, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, began working with President-elect Herzog in 2010 to generate national support to create the first universal child development account program (CDA) in the world. Grinstein-Weiss, […]

Inclusive Growth Feature: Intersection of health, wealth and inclusive growth

How can we build inclusive and healthy communities in St. Louis? Kristy Klein Davis, Chief Strategy Officer of the Missouri Foundation for Health, sat down with the Social Policy Institute to discuss the intersection of health and inclusive growth. This inclusive growth feature is one of a multi-part feature on how to support inclusive growth […]

Material Hardship among Lower-Income Households: The Role of Liquid Assets and Place

Lower-income households are at risk for material hardship, particularly amidst the economic fallout of COVID-19. Where one lives (e.g., suburb, small town) may affect this risk due to variable access to resources, yet the evidence is mixed concerning the influence of place. We used a pooled, national cross-sectional sample of 66,046 lower-income tax filers to […]