Publication Date



Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis


Social Policy Institute Working Paper

Israel’s Child Development Account (CDA) program, the Savings for Every Child Program (SECP), is universal and automatically enrolls all children under the age of 18, depositing approximately $14 into their accounts every month. Parents can transfer an additional monthly $14 into these long-term savings accounts and can choose an investment vehicle for their children’s deposits. The total realized benefits from the SECP depend heavily on parents’ choices. This study examines how demographic, financial, and intrinsic personality characteristics predict household participation in this program. Using a unique data set combining administrative and survey data, we find that household ethnicity, parental education, and financial circumstances were the most significant predictors of household engagement with the SECP. Important differences in program enrollment and participation are observed by household ethnicity. Our study can inform potential policy designs of CDA programs, especially in middle- and high-income countries, and have implications for enabling less-educated and ethnic minority households to save for their children’s future.

Document Type

Report or White Paper


This document is the unedited author’s version of a submitted work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Journal of Family and Economic Issues, copyright ©️ 2020 after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see


Global Initiatives


Child Development Accounts; asset building; savings; Israel