Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

SEED for Oklahoma Kids: Experimental Test of a Policy Innovation in a Full Population

The Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis has implemented an ambitious policy demonstration: SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK). This initiative uses multiple research methods, including a scientific experiment in a full population, to test a policy innovation. The innovation is providing a Child Development Account (CDA) to all children at birth. In SEED OK, randomly selected newborn children in Oklahoma received a college savings account “seeded” with a $1,000 initial deposit, plus additional components of the SEED OK intervention. This case study describes the multiyear process of designing and implementing SEED OK and sheds light on (a) organization and challenges of large-scale applied social research, (b) rigor and process required for a well-designed experiment, and (c) early research findings and policy implications.

Subsequent publication: Mason, L. R., Nam, Y., Clancy, M., & Sherraden, M. (2014). Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment for Oklahoma Kids: Experimental test of a policy innovation in a full population. SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/978144627305013520671

Citation

Mason, L. R., Nam, Y., Clancy, M., & Sherraden, M. (2013). SEED for Oklahoma Kids: Experimental test of a policy innovation in a full population (CSD Working Paper No. 13-24). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.