The number of individuals with student loan debt who do not earn their degrees is on the rise; nevertheless, there is little research that demonstrates the financial conditions and circumstances of these individuals. We address this knowledge gap by comparing the financial outcomes of student debt-holders who started college but did not earn a degree—those […]
As the gig economy plays an increasingly important role in the labor market, there is a need to understand the economic factors that influence participation in this sector. In this paper, we investigate how saving the federal tax refund affects gig economy participation for low-income online tax filers in the six months following tax filing. […]
Sun, S., Roll, S. P., Kondratjeva, O., Bufe, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2019, March). Assessing the Short-Term Stability of Financial Well-Being in Low- and Moderate-Income Households. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-01). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute.
Bufe, S., Sun, S., Roll, S. P., Kondratjeva, O., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2019, March). How do Changing Financial Circumstances Relate to Financial Well-Being? Evidence from a National Survey. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-02). St. Louis, MO: Washington Univer¬sity, Social Policy Institute.
Sun, S., Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S. P., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2018, December). Financial well-being in low- and moderate-income households: How does it compare to the general population? (SPI Research Brief No. 18-03). St. Louis, MO: Washington Univer¬sity, Social Policy Institute.
Low‐ and moderate‐income households often struggle to save, but the annual tax refund represents a prime opportunity for these households to save toward their financial goals or build their emergency savings. This paper presents the results of a randomized, controlled experiment embedded in a free tax‐preparation product offered in 2013 to low‐ and moderate‐income households. […]
Being unbanked makes it difficult for low and moderate-income (LMI) households to manage finances, save, and access credit. We assessed effects of an online tax-time savings intervention on savings account openings in the 6 months following tax filing among a sample of4,692 LMI tax filers. Treatment group participants had 60% greater odds of opening a […]
Low- and moderate-income (LMI) households need financial assets to help cope with income and expenditure shocks. Prior research identifies racial differences in wealth and wealth effects. We examined whether these gaps and effects exist for liquid financial assets. Using group invariance tests in structural equation modeling, we assessed the relationship between financial shocks and material […]
Too many households have too little set aside for emergencies, long-term goals, or retirement. This study presents evidence from the Refund to Savings Initiative, a large-scale randomized experiment testing interventions to increase household savings by encouraging filers to set aside a portion of their tax returns. Grounded in techniques of behavioral economics, these interventions are […]
Using data from tax records and a longitudinal survey, this brief investigates the choices low- and moderate-income households make about their tax withholding and their preferences for withholding. The relationship between withholding preferences and the use of the tax refund, measures of material hardship, and the use of alternative financial services is also explored. We […]
Roll, S. P., Mitchell, D. S., Bufe, S., Lynne, G., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2017, October). The experience of volatility in low- and moderate-income households: Results from a national survey (Issue Brief). Washington, DC: Aspen Institute and Center for Social Development.
Roll, S. P., Mitchell, D. S., Holub, K., Bufe, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2017, December). Responses to and repercussions from income volatility in low- and moderate-income households: Results from a national survey (Issue Brief). Washington, DC: Aspen Institute and Center for Social Development.
4. Roll, S. P., Oliphant, J. E., Perantie, D. C., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Davison, G. (2017). Assessing retirement needs and interest in myRA: Findings from the Refund to Savings Initiative (CSD Research Report No. 17-16). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for taxpayers who claim an earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit on their returns until at least February 15. The delay could help the IRS better check claims for these credits. But this new requirement will […]
Refund To Savings (R2S), is a collaboration of academic researchers from the CSD, Duke University and Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax tax preparation software. R2S builds a saving-promotion experiment as a randomized controlled trial into the TurboTax Free File Online product that is available free to low- and moderate-income households.
Unable to conduct everyday financial transactions without a bank account or in need of flexible, shortterm credit, many low- and moderate-income (LMI) households turn to alternative financial services (AFSs). This brief summarizes research on AFS use among LMI tax filers participating in the Refund to Savings (R2S) Initiative. We make an important contribution to AFS […]
Improving the financial security of low- and middle-income households through the savings of federal tax refunds is the central mission for the Refund to Savings (R2S) initiative. It is important to understand the context in which those households are trying to save and the methods of coping with contingencies when savings are not available. Such […]