Effects of a Tax-Time Savings Experiment on Material and Health Care Hardship among Low-Income Filers

Mathieu R. Despard, Samuel Taylor, Chunhui Ren, Blair Russell, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Ramesh Raghavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Material and health care hardship is common among households with low incomes and is associated with a host of adverse outcomes but can be mitigated with having savings. The authors assessed the effects of online tax-time savings interventions informed by behavioral economics on hardship among a sample of low- and moderate-income tax filers (N = 4,738). The authors find that filers who received an intervention had a statistically significant, lower probability of both types of hardship 6 months after tax filing, compared to the control group. However, this result does not hold when incorporating household financial characteristics and prior hardship to models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-178
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2018



  • Behavioral economics
  • earned income tax credit
  • health care hardship
  • material hardship
  • savings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this