Financial Incentives and Sanctions: Can They Improve Employment Outcomes for Low-Income Adults?

ESER Issue Brief, OPRE Report #2016-66
Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Oct 04, 2016
Sarah Wissel and Kelley Borradaile
Among programs seeking to improve employment outcomes for low-income adults, many use financial incentives or sanctions to encourage participants to find or maintain a job. This brief discusses 12 interventions identified by the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER) that featured financial incentives or sanctions as their primary employment or training strategy. This brief describes those interventions and their impacts on employment and earnings. It also profiles four promising interventions and their impacts in more detail, including impacts on the receipt of public benefits.