Reducing Inequality through Improved Outcomes for Children Receiving SSI Benefits

Can an intervention that informs parents about their child’s likelihood of being removed from disability benefits improve child outcomes?

Manasi Deshpande will investigate how expectations about the future availability of government benefits affect parental investment in children’s education and skills. Focusing on an intervention that gives families with information about the likelihood that their child will be removed from SSI at the age of 18, as well as provides resources like tutoring and assistance enrolling in support services, Deshpande’s study will both measure the effect of the information on parental investments and examine the mechanisms through which information affects beliefs, behavior, and ultimately outcomes. An economist with deep experience in conducting retrospective studies using administrative data, Deshpande will now develop expertise in randomized controlled trials, qualitative work, and adolescent development with the support of her mentors, including Ariel Kalil, professor of Public Policy at the Harris School at the University of Chicago, and David Meltzer, professor in the department of Medicine and affiliated faculty at the Harris School of Public Policy and the department of Economics at the University of Chicago.

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