This event will take place Friday, December 3rd in person at Mammel 216 and also virtually on zoom.
Topic of the seminar: Fighting Poverty One Family at a Time: Experimental Evidence from an Intervention with Holistic, Individualized, Wrap-Around Services
Current approaches to fighting poverty tend to address the symptoms rather than the causes of poverty and hence are limited in their ability to provide permanent solutions. This paper examines the effect of a holistic, individualized wrap-around service intervention called Padua on outcomes for low-income families. The intervention includes a detailed assessment, an individualized service plan, intensive case management administered by a two-person team with small caseloads, and temporary financial assistance used to overcome obstacles to self-sufficiency and incentivize behavior. We evaluate the intervention through a randomized controlled trial. Results indicate that two years after enrollment the intervention leads to substantial increases in both work and earnings, although the effect on earnings is statistically insignificant. The customized nature of the services that Padua provides suggests that effects for the full sample might mask heterogeneity in program impacts. We find large and statistically significant improvements in earnings and employment for those not employed at baseline and those who are stably housed at baseline. For the latter group, we also find a large and statistically significant decline in receipt of government benefits.
About Professor James Sullivan
James Sullivan is a Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame and Co-Founder and Director of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, which is a research center that works with service providers and policymakers to identify effective and scalable solutions to reduce poverty in America. He was recently appointed to the U.S. Commission on Social Impact Partnerships and he serves on the National Poverty Research Center Advisory Board. His research examines the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs at the national, state, and local level. He also studies the consumption, saving, and borrowing behavior of poor households, as well as poverty and inequality measurement. Sullivan teaches intermediate microeconomics and advanced labor economics at the undergraduate level and public economics at the graduate level. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.