Articles & Special Issues Asset Building

Exploring a Model for Integrating Child Development Accounts With Social Services for Vulnerable Families

Nominated for the Journal of Consumer Affairs
Best Article Award

This study is one of three finalists selected by Editor Ron Hill, the journal’s associate editors, and the Board of Directors of the American Council on Consumer Interests. Given annually, the award honors one article published in the journal during the prior year. The study, published in journal’s the Fall 2019 issue, is nominated for the 2020 award.


In the financial capability intervention known as Child Development Accounts (CDAs), incentives with savings or investment accounts enable families (especially vulnerable ones) to accumulate assets for children’s developmental and life‐cycle needs. With data from SEED for Oklahoma Kids (OK), a randomized statewide policy experiment, we examined a CDA intervention’s effects on a subsample of low‐income families in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Head Start. Results from simultaneous equation modeling suggest that the intervention has positive, statistically significant impacts on financial and social‐development outcomes. Findings provide empirical support for a new model for integrating the accounts with other social services for economically vulnerable populations. The centralized account platform used in SEED OK seems essential to providing CDAs on a large scale, which would enable opportunities for integration with federal‐ and state‐funded social service programs.

Citation

Huang, J.Beverly, S. G., Kim, Y., Clancy, M. M., & Sherraden, M. (2019). Exploring a model for integrating Child Development Accounts with social services for vulnerable families. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53(3), 770–795. https://doi.org/10.1111/joca.12239