Policymakers looking to provide evidence-based opportunity for Americans should look to matched savings programs, such as individual development accounts. By matching personal saving, individual development accounts (IDAs) improve financial capability while promoting saving for longer-term investment in a home, business or education. A randomized controlled trial evaluation of the federally supported Assets for Independence IDA program found that after one year, participants in the program saw a $657 median increase in new savings (before matching funds); a 34 percent reduction in reported economic hardship; and a 10 percent increase in participants’ confidence in their ability to meet normal monthly living expenses. (Author abstract)
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