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Experimental Effects of Child Development Accounts on Financial Capability of Young Mothers

A sizeable portion of families in the United States are unbanked, and an even greater share uses alternative financial services. Can Child Development Account (CDA) policy draw young parents into the financial mainstream?

This is the first study to report experimental results concerning the effects of CDAs on financial capability—in this case, the financial capability of young mothers (aged 18 to 24) whose children have CDAs. Data come from SEED for Oklahoma Kids, a randomized test of a universal at-birth CDA policy. The findings indicate that (a) the intervention increased use of asset and debt products, and (b) the policy may be an effective vehicle for delivering FCAB services to parents as well as their children. The results suggest that an at-birth CDA policy creates opportunities for parents to develop financial acumen and for policymakers to foster financial capability.

Citation

Huang, J., Sherraden, M. S., Sherraden, M., & Johnson, L. (2021). Experimental effects of Child Development Accounts on financial capability of young mothers. Journal of Family & Economic Issues. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-021-09774-4