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


Quick Guide to CSA Research

Quick Guide to CSA Research: An Overview of Evidence on Children's Savings Accounts

This guide summarizes current research on CSAs' effects and outcomes, offering a quick reference to the types of research backing each finding (Prosperity Now).

Current and Planned Research on Children's Savings Accounts (October 2018)

Current and Planned Research on Children's Savings Accounts (October 2018)

This document lists research studies about Children's Savings Accounts that are currently underway or in planning (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

Impacts of Child Development Accounts on Parenting Practices: Evidence from a Randomized Statewide Experiment

This study presents results from a statewide randomized experiment with 2,704 primary caregivers and their children in Oklahoma. (Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis)

Reinventing Children's Savings Accounts to Address the Racial Wealth Divide

Reinventing Children's Savings Accounts to Address the Racial Wealth Divide

In this paper, we examine how CSAs can be re-configured to fight racial wealth inequality. We also provide original data on the racial breakdown of CSA accountholders.

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)

Lessons Learned from Children's Savings Account Programs

Lessons Learned from Children's Savings Account Programs: Tools to Leverage Spending to Facilitate Saving among Low-income Families

This brief identifies key challenges facing the CSA field regarding enrollment in CSA programs and savings outcomes among participants. (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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