The Effect of Government Cash Assistance on Household Financial Outcomes

Manasi Deshpande, Tal Gross, Jialan Wang

NBER Disability Research Center Paper No. NB 17-03
Issued in September 2017

This project looks at the effect of SSI on access to and usage of credit. It uses a database that links public bankruptcy records and proprietary credit bureau data with Social Security Administration records. First, we will provide descriptive evidence on the finances of SSI households: whether they possess a credit record, use credit cards, and use alternative credit services like payday lending; and whether they suffer from financial distress (e.g. foreclosure or bankruptcy). Second, we will use a quasi-experimental research design to study how SSI affects these financial outcomes. Understanding the effects of SSI on household financial well-being is an important component of evaluating the overall effects of the program on recipients.

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