Research

The children’s savings field is an evidence-driven field. First tested in the 10-year national SEED (Savings for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment) demonstration project, CSAs have been found to not only promote financial security for children in low- and moderate-income families, but also to raise the hopes and aspirations for the future for both children and adults. Since SEED, dozens of academic articles, pilot programs and research initiatives have added to the CSA knowledge base.

Research shows that CSAs have a big impact.

CSAs benefit kids—and their families.

Rigorous research from the SEED for Oklahoma Kids randomized control trial demonstrates that CSAs have several positive impacts on young children and their mothers, including:

  • Improving parents’ educational expectations for their children
  • Increasing college savings behavior
  • Reducing symptoms of depression in mothers
  • Improving children’s early socio-emotional development


Current Research on Children's Savings Account Programs, March 2018

Current Research on Children's Savings Account Programs, March 2018

This document lists research studies currently being conducted with Children's Savings Account (CSA) programs (Prosperity Now).

Automatic Deposits for All at Birth: Maine’s Harold Alfond College Challenge

Automatic Deposits for All at Birth: Maine’s Harold Alfond College Challenge

A discussion of Maine's Harold Alfond College Challenge program, with detailed information on the switch from an opt-in to an opt-out program. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

Child Development Accounts and College Success: Accounts, Assets, Expectations, and Achievements

Child Development Accounts and College Success: Accounts, Assets, Expectations, and Achievements

A discussion of five ways that Child Development Accounts may increase the likelihood of college success. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

Staying on Course: The Effects of Savings and Assets on the College Progress of Young Adults

Staying on Course: The Effects of Savings and Assets on the College Progress of Young Adults

A study assessing the impact of savings and assets on whether young adults are on course to attend and complete college. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

The SEED for Oklahoma Kids Child Development Account Experiment: Accounts, Assets, Earnings, and Savings

The SEED for Oklahoma Kids Child Development Account Experiment: Accounts, Assets, Earnings, and Savings

A summary of research findings on financial outcomes for children from the SEED for Oklahoma Kids children's savings experiment. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

Testing Universal Child Development Accounts: Financial Impacts in a Large Social Experiment

Testing Universal Child Development Accounts: Financial Impacts in a Large Social Experiment

An analysis, conducted as part of the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment, indicating that Child Development Accounts (CDAs) have a large impact on asset accumulation, especially for disadvantaged children. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

Universal Accounts at Birth: Results from SEED for Oklahoma Kids

Universal Accounts at Birth: Results from SEED for Oklahoma Kids

A summary of key research findings and conclusions from SEED for Oklahoma Kids, a randomized control trial of Child Development Accounts. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and the Future of Higher Education

Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and the Future of Higher Education

A report indicating that CSAs could significantly increase college access and completion, especially among low-income students. (Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion, University of Kansas)

Lessons from SEED: A National Demonstration of Child Development Accounts

Lessons from SEED: A National Demonstration of Child Development Accounts

A summary of key findings from the SEED national CSA demonstration project. (Prosperity Now, the Center for Social Development at Washington University, New America, et al)

The Promise of Child Development Accounts: Current Evidence and Future Directions

The Promise of Child Development Accounts: Current Evidence and Future Directions

A high-level overview of children's savings program research and programs, with recommendations for future policy based on research. (University of Michigan)

Identifying Short Term Outcome Metrics for Evaluating Whether Children's Savings Accounts Programs Are on Track

Identifying Short Term Outcome Metrics for Evaluating Whether Children's Savings Accounts Programs Are on Track

A discussion of interim metrics that can be used to evaluate whether CSA programs are on track, including a discussion of the research basis for the outcomes. (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

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