Expert Commentary: Intervention Timing and Treatment Effects Matter.

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Katz, Lawrence.
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The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) team designed and implemented 15 tests of low-cost behavioral interventions to improve the efficacy of key U.S. poverty alleviation policies using rigorous randomized controlled trials. The author reports that behavioral nudges (defined as subtle and modest changes that help improve individual decision making), reminders, or information are not sufficient to have large impacts on child support compliance when individuals don’t have the financial resources to comply or don’t view the required payments to be “legitimate.” The author also notes that the timing of behavioral information interventions is important in improving the choices of program participants. (Author abstract modified)