Project Abstract

This project will evaluate programs offering different cash supports to clients of three Colorado training and career development nonprofits:

  • ActivateWork: Will offer a cash stipend to a make Per Scholas, their flagship evidence-based program, more accessible to more Coloradans.
  • Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO): Will pilot “Returning Citizen Stimulus” payments for individuals returning from prison, made in several installments, for completing specific career-readiness milestones.
  • CrossPurpose: Will pilot supplementing wages of recent graduates who are beginning to advance out of poverty, and based on their status, would otherwise lose access to subsidized child care, housing, and other supports.

At each site, researchers will use a randomized controlled trial or quasi-experimental design to understand how cash supports influence client employment and earnings outcomes and whether stabilizing financial supports can deter “benefit cliffs” that undermine financial stability. This research will add another dimension to current evidence on the employment effects of other income supports such as the earned income tax credit and child tax credit.


Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative

Research Partners: 

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab

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