learnSave Project – Learning to Save, Saving to Learn: Early Impacts of the learn$ave Individual Development Accounts Project
In today’s knowledge economy, technological change continues to penalize those who lack the appropriate skills. Disproportionately, it is low-income individuals who lack the skills needed, as well as the means to take advantage of public mechanisms to improve their skills. Learning to Save, Saving to Learn: Early Impacts of the learn$ave Individual Development Accounts Project, a new report released by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, presents the 18-month results of learn$ave, a project designed to demonstrate how Individual Development Accounts can encourage low-income adults to save in order to increase their human capital by participating in education or training, or starting a small business.
learn$ave matched saving credits led to substantially greater savings for program group members: these savings stemmed from changes in consumer behaviour, and did not require participants to incur greater debt or work longer hours. As well, the financial management training and case management services offered by the program are positively affecting participants’ budgeting behaviour.
The matched saving credits have worked to enhance the attitudes of program group participants toward education: these effects are expected to continue over the next several years of the program’s life and contribute to increased participation in education.
Please note: An erratum for this report was issued in July 2008. An alternative model was used to calculate the average levels adjusted to balanced characteristics. The revised levels more precisely represent a typical research sample member. This affects only the data, not the impacts. Access the erratum below.