Research at the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University in St. Louis is focused on better understanding why, where and how inequities exist. This is done through our four key research focus areas. The first is financial security, where researchers look at how policy can support the prosperity and security of families and individuals. Next, we focus on researching health, with the aim of learning how health outcomes, behaviors and access to wellness can be improved. SPI’s third research area is education, where researchers focus on using education as a tool to increase positive life outcomes, social mobility and overall well-being. Our final research area is housing, with the goal of elevating equitable neighborhood and housing strategies. Additionally, SPI conducts and shares research globally, with current projects in both Canada and Israel. Through research, SPI supports policy change by identifying promising solutions to global problems.

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Submissions from 2021

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Did Government Benefits Help Israeli Households Avoid Hardship during COVID-19? Evidence from a National Survey, Olga Kondratjeva, Talia Schwartz-Tayri, Sam Bufe, Stephen Roll, John Gal, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
November 11th, 2021

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Paid sick leave heading into COVID-19: A descriptive account of workers who lacked paid sick leave, David Rothwell, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Mathieu Despard, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
November 1st, 2021

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Vaccine hesitance during COVID-19: Exploring motivations and incentives, Laura Brugger
November 1st, 2021

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Expanded Child Tax Credit payments have not reduced employment, Stephen Roll, Leah Hamilton, and Yung Chun
October 21st, 2021

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Employment Changes During COVID-19, Mathieu Despard, Sam Bufe, Stephen Roll, and Katie Kristensen
September 1st, 2021

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Employment, Financial and Well-being Effects of the 2021 Expanded Child Tax Credit: Wave 1 Executive Summary, Leah Hamilton, Stephen Roll, Mathieu Despard, and Elaine Maag
September 1st, 2021

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Housing Hardships During COVID-19, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Yung Chun, Stephen Roll, and Katie Kristensen
September 1st, 2021

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How are families in the U.S. using their Child Tax Credit payments? A 50 state analysis, Stephen Roll, Yung Chun, Laura Brugger, and Leah Hamilton
September 1st, 2021

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Impact of COVID-19 on Households with Children, Alejandra Muñoz-Rivera, Jason Jabbari, Stephen Roll, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
September 1st, 2021

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The Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 Study: Survey Methodology Report, Stephen Roll, Sam Bufe, Yung Chun, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
September 1st, 2021

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Use of Public Benefits Over the First Year of Pandemic, Sam Bufe, Stephen Roll, Katie Kristensen, and Dan Zhao
September 1st, 2021

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Vaccination Options for Medicaid Parents Uncomfortable with Office Visits during COVID Pandemic, Amy McQueen, Tess Thompson, Enguday Teshome, Jennifer Staten, Saneel Kulkarni, Thidaporn Tanpattana, Lourdes Balaez, and Matthew W. Kreuter
September 1st, 2021

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Pinching pennies or money to burn? The role of grit in financial behaviors, Jason Jabbari, Joshua Jackson, Stephen Roll, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
August 1st, 2021

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“Take my word for it”: Group Texts and Testimonials Enhance State and Federal Student Aid Applications', Jason Jabbari, Stephen Roll, Sam Bufe, and Jessica McKay
August 1st, 2021

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Timely and Well-Targeted Financial Assistance during COVID-19, Mathieu Despard, Selina Miller, and Katie Kristensen
July 23rd, 2021

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Does Frequency or Amount Matter? Testing the Perceptions of Four Universal Basic Income Proposals, Leah Hamilton, Mathieu Despard, Stephen Roll, Dylan Bellisle, Christian A. Hall, and Allison Wright
April 1st, 2021

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All over the Map: A Systematic Literature Review and State Policy Scan of Medicaid Buy-In Programs for Working Individuals with Disabilities, Dan Ferris, MPA; Yueh-ya Hsu, MPH; William Liem, MSW; Meredith Raymond, MSW; and Mary Acri, PhD
January 11th, 2021

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Increasing Successful Completion of Practical Engineering Diploma Programs, Naomi Gershoni
January 1st, 2021

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Nudging Parents to Improve Children's Oral Health: A Field Study, Deborah Marciano, Ariel Tikotsky, Merav Kynam Orenstein, Hadas Goldberg, and Yuval Vered
January 1st, 2021

Submissions from 2020

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COVID-19 Educational Inequities: Shining a Light on Disparities in a Graduate School of Social Work, Jason Jabbari, Dan Ferris, Tyler Frank, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
December 3rd, 2020

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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Housing Instability during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Yung Chun, Stephen Roll, Selina Miller, Hedwig Lee, Savannah Larimore, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
December 3rd, 2020

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Who relocates, where do they move, and why?, Yung Chun, Jason Jabbari, Pranav Nandan, Andrew Foell, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
November 28th, 2020

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It Shouldn’t take a Pandemic to increase School Meal Access for Low-Income Students: A Two-Step Floating Catchment Area Analysis of School Meal Access during COVID-19, Jason Jabbari, Yung Chun, Pranav Nandan, Laura McDermott, Tyler Frank, Dan Ferris, Sarah Moreland-Russell, and Stephen Roll
November 3rd, 2020

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Income Loss and Financial Distress during COVID-19: The Protective Role of Liquid Assets, Stephen Roll and Mathieu Despard
November 1st, 2020

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Cut Me Some Slack! Slack Resources and Technology-Mediated Human Capital Investments in Entrepreneurship, Jason Jabbari, Stephen Roll, Sam Bufe, and Yung Chun
September 22nd, 2020

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Strategies for Debt Reduction: Comparing Financial Tips and Financial Counseling, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Madi M. Ryan, Olga Kondratjeva, and Stephen Roll
July 22nd, 2020

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Material Hardship among Lower-Income Households: The Role of Liquid Assets and Place, Mathieu Despard, Valerie Taing, Addie Weaver, Stephen Roll, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
June 12th, 2020

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs: Promising New Benefit for Frontline Workers?, Mathieu Despard, Ellen Frank-Miller, Yingying Zeng, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Geraldine Germain, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, and Meredith Covington
June 9th, 2020

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs: Tips for Employers, Sloane Wolter, Jenna Hampton BSW, Sophia Fox-Dichter, and Ellen Frank-Miller
June 9th, 2020

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs: Tips for Providers, Jenna Hampton BSW, Sloane Wolter, Sophia Fox-Dichter, and Ellen Frank-Miller
June 9th, 2020

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Financial counseling for front-line workers: A pilot study of engagement and outcomes, Mathieu Despard, Yingying Zeng, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Ellen Frank-Miller, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
June 9th, 2020

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Promoting Public Retirement Savings Accounts during Tax Filing: Evidence from a Field Experiment, Stephen Roll, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Olga Kondratjeva, and Sam Bufe
June 9th, 2020

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Tax-Time Saving and the Earned Income Tax Credit: Results from Online Field and Survey Experiments, Mathieu Despard, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Stephen Roll, Bradley Hardy, Dana Perantie, and Jane Oliphant
June 9th, 2020

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The Impact of Tax Refund Delays on the Experience of Hardship and Unsecured Debt, Olga Kondratjeva, Stephen Roll, Mathieu Despard, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
June 9th, 2020

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Using Financial Tips to Guide Debt Repayment: Experimental Evidence from Low-and Moderate-Income Tax Filers, Olga Kondratjeva, Stephen Roll, Sam Bufe, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
June 8th, 2020

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Improving Educational and Career Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities in the Future Trend Program, Yifat Klein, Osnat Elnathan, Mayzahav Itiel Barkai, Miriam Palachi, Anat Halevy, Yair Feingold, Ariel Tikotsky, and Guy Hochman
May 1st, 2020

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Improving the Take-Up of Homecare Services Among Holocaust Survivors in a Jewish Charitable Organization, Olga Kondratjeva, Stephen Roll, Odelya Mantsura, Pini Miretski, Olga Statland-Vaintraub, Hannah Brumbaum, Ariel Tikotsky, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
May 1st, 2020

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Household Savings Decisions in Israel’s Child Savings Program: The Role of Demographic, Financial, and Intrinsic Factors, Ofir Pinto, Olga Kondratjeva, Maya Haran Rosen, Stephen P. Roll, Aytakin Huseynli, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
April 1st, 2020

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Nothing to Show for It: Non-Degreed Debt and the Financial Circumstances Associated with It, Jason Jabbari, Mathieu Despard, Olga Kondratjeva, Brinda Gupta, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
April 1st, 2020

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Assessing the Short-Term Stability of Financial Well-Being in Low- and Moderate-Income Households, Stephen P. Roll, Olga Kondratjeva, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, and Stephanie Skees
March 20th, 2020

Does Savings Affect Participation in the Gig Economy? Evidence from a Tax Refund Field Experiment, Sam Bufe, Stephen P. Roll, Olga Kondratjeva, Bradley Hardy, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
January 1st, 2020

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How Do the Lives of Participants in a Housing Mobility Program Change After They Move? A Case Study of the Mobility Connection Program, Jenna Hampton BSW, Stephen J. Roll PhD, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss PhD
January 1st, 2020

Submissions from 2019

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Assessing the Short-Term Stability of Financial Well-Being in Low- to Moderate-Income Households, Sicong Sun, Stephen P. Roll, Olga Kondratjeva, Sam Bufe, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
March 20th, 2019

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How do Changing Financial Circumstances Relate to Financial Well-Being? Evidence from a National Survey, Sam Bufe, Stephen P. Roll, Olga Kondratjeva, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
March 20th, 2019

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How do Changing Financial Circumstances Relate to Financial Well-Being? Evidence from a National Survey, Sam Bufe, Sicong Sun, Stephen P. Roll, Olga Kondratjeva, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
March 20th, 2019

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Dependent Care FSAs: Policy Proposals to level the Playing Field for Low- to Moderate-Income Parents, Ellen Frank-Miller, Sophia Fox-Dichter, and Sloane Wolter
February 1st, 2019

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Making Dependent Care FSAa Work for Low- to Moderate-Income Families 5 Action Steps for Employers, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Ellen Frank-Miller, and Sloane Wolter
February 1st, 2019

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Credit-Building Services for Employees: An Assessment of Engagement and Outcomes, Yingying Zeng MSW, MSP and Mathieu Despard PhD, MSW
January 1st, 2019

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Dependent Care FSAs: The Uneven Playing Field for Employers and Workers, Ellen Frank-Miller, Sophia Fox-Dichter, and Sloane Wolter
January 1st, 2019

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Dependent Care FSAs Work for Low- to Moderate-Income Families: 5 Action Steps for Policymakers, Sophia Fox-Dichter, Ellen Frank-Miller, and Sloane Wolter
January 1st, 2019

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Employer-Sponsored Small-Dollar Loans: An Assessment of Take-Up, Engagement, and Outcomes, Ellen G. Frank-Miller PhD; Sophia Fox-Dichter MSW; Sloane Wolter AB; Jenna Hampton BSW; Mathieu Despard PhD, MSW; and Geraldine Germain MSW
January 1st, 2019

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Financial Counseling for Low- and Moderate-Income Employees: An Assessment of Engagement and Outcomes, Mathieu Despard PhD, MSW; Yingying Zeng MSW, MSP; and Sophia Fox-Dichter MSW
January 1st, 2019

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Financial Counseling for Low- and Moderate-Income Home Health Care Employees: An Assessment of Take-Up, Engagement, and Outcomes, Ellen G. Frank-Miller PhD, Sophia R. Fox-Dichter MSW, Sloane Wolter AB, and Jenna Hampton BSW
January 1st, 2019

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Workplace Credit-Building Counseling at a Midwest Employer: An Assessment of Take-Up, Engagement, and Outcomes, Ellen G. Frank-Miller PhD; Sophia Fox-Dichter MSW; Sloane Wolter AB; Jenna Hampton BSW; and Yingying Zeng MSW, MSP
January 1st, 2019

Submissions from 2018

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Financial Well-Being in Low- and Moderate-Income Households: How Does It Compare to the General Population?, Sicong Sun, Olga Kondratjeva, Stephen P. Roll, Mathieu Despard, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
December 12th, 2018

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Financial Well-Being in Low- and Moderate-Income Households: How Does It Compare to the General Population?, Sicong Sun, Olga Kondratjeva, Stephen P. Roll, Mathieu Despard, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss
December 12th, 2018

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Refund to Savings 2015-2016: Field Experiments to Promote Tax-Time Saving in Low- and Moderate-Income Households, Stephen P. Roll, Genevieve Davison, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Mathieu R. Despard, and Sam Bufe

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A Toolkit for Expanding Financial Capability at Tax Time, Genevieve Davison, Merideth Covington, Olga Kondratjeva, Stephen P. Roll, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs: Differences in Reach by Financial Circumstances, Sophia R. Fox-Dichter, Yingying Zeng, Mathieu R. Despard, Ellen Frank-Miller, and Geraldine Germain
February 1st, 2018

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The State of State EITCs: An Overview and Their Implications for Low- and Moderate-Income Households, Genevieve Davison, Stephen P. Roll, Samuel H. Taylor, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs: Differences in Reach by Race and Ethnicity, Sophia R. Fox-Dichter, Mathieu R. Despard, Ellen Frank-Miller, and Geraldine Germain
January 1st, 2018

Research from 2017

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs Project: Comprehensive Report of Findings, Ellen Frank-Miller, Meredith Covington, Mathieu R. Despard, Geraldine Hannon, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

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Employee Financial Wellness Programs: A Review of the Literature and Directions for Future Research, Geraldine Hannon, Meredith Covington, Mat Despard, Ellen Frank-Miller, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

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Assessing Retirement Needs and Interest in myRa: Findings From the Refund to Savings Initiative, Stephen P. Roll, Jane E. Oliphant, Dana C. Perantie, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, and Genevieve Davison

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Coping With a Crisis: Financial Resources Available to Low- and Moderate-Income Households in Emergencies, Dana C. Perantie, Stephen P. Roll, Jane E. Oliphant, Shenyang Guo, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Research from 2016

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Home Delinquency Rates Are Lower Among ACA Marketplace Households: Evidence From a Natural Experiment, Emily A. Gallagher, Radhakrishnan Gopalon, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Stephen P. Roll, and Genevieve Davison

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The Role of Health Insurance in the Financial Lives of Low- and Moderate-Income Households, Mathieu R. Despard, Dana C. Perantie, Jane E. Oliphant, Stephen P. Roll, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

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Characteristics and Hardships Associated With Bank Account Ownership Among Refund to Savings Participants, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Dana C. Perantie, Jane E. Oliphant, Anna deRuyter, and Mathieu R. Despard

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Support for a Tax-Time Savings Policy: Interest in Deferring Tax Refunds With Matched Incentives, Dana C. Perantie, Jane E. Oliphant, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Research from 2015

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Use of Alternative Financial Services Among Low- and Moderate-Income Households: Findings From a Large-Scale National Household Financial Survey, Mathieu R. Despard, Dana C. Perantie, Lingzi Luo, Jane Oliphant, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss

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Refund to Savings 2013: Comprehensive Report on a Large-Scale Tax-Time Saving Program, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Dana C. Perantie, Blair D. Russell, Krista Comer, Samuel H. Taylor, Lingzi Luo, Clinton Key, and Dan Ariely