@OPRE_ACF @MDRC reported an RCT of Individual Placement & Support — a job counseling, search & support program for adults with disabilities. Quick take: High-quality RCT found an impressive 26% gain in two-year earnings, but no discernible effect on time employed.

Program:

  • The program, as implemented by the San Diego Workforce Partnership,  serves under- or unemployed low-income individuals with a range of self-identified mental and/or physical disabilities.

  • Participants receive assistance from an employment specialist who provides personalized career counseling, benefits counseling, & job search assistance with an emphasis on satisfying participants’ job preferences; and continues to provide “follow-along” support after participants obtain a job.

  • The program cost is approximately $4,340/person.

Study Design:

  • The RCT study sample comprised 1,061 adults in San Diego (54% female, 60% non-white). Based on careful review, this was a high-quality RCT (e.g., negligible sample attrition, good baseline balance).

Findings:

  • The study found a statistically significant 26% ($3,965) impact on earnings over the 2 years following study entry (although there was tentative evidence that the impact was diminishing over time). The study found no discernible impact on time employed over the 2 years.

Comment:

  • Overall, I think the results are quite promising. Here’s the study report.  

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