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Enrollment and Participation in a Universal Child Savings Program: Evidence from the Rollout of Israel’s National Program

In January 2017, Israel’s Saving for Every Child Program began to offer a Child Development Account to every child under the age of 18. Structured as investment funds or interest yielding bank accounts, the accounts receive fixed monthly contributions from the social insurance’s child benefit and afford parents the option to double the additional fixed monthly deposit from the same source, thus reducing the family’s current income from social benefits. This study analyzed administrative data on enrollment and participation during the program’s first 6 months. The findings suggest that overall active participation has been high, though among population groups suffering from less economic opportunities, the public sector’s default choice was more preponderant than the families’ active choice participation, thus rendering the policy makers’ decision about the design of the default option an important issue for optimal policy design.

Citation

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Pinto, O., Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S. P., Bufe, S., Barkali, N., & Gottlieb, D. (2019). Enrollment and participation in a universal child savings program: Evidence from the rollout of Israel’s national program. Children and Youth Services Review, 101, 225–238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.03.048