This study examines whether participation in Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) leads to a significant growth in assets beyond saving in the IDA accounts. Using a longitudinal experimental research design for low-income IDA participants, we test for impacts on five measures of assets: liquid assets, other financial assets, total financial assets, real assets, and total assets. Results show that, while there are no large differences in liquid and financial assets between the treatment group and the control group, IDA participants in the take-up group have more real assets and total assets than members of the control group. Results suggest that additional research to examine long-term effects of IDAs on asset growth may be fruitful.
Subsequent publication: Han, C.-K., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Sherraden, M. (2009) Assets beyond savings in Individual Development Accounts. Social Service Review, 83(2): 221–244. doi:10.1086/600861