Select publications (since 2016):

Roll, S., Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M. & Bufe, S. (Accepted). Emergency savings among persistently poor households: Evidence from a field experiment. Social Work Research.

Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (Accepted). The impact of state Earned Income Tax Credit expansions on material and medical hardships. Journal of Consumer Affairs.

Despard, M. (2021). Program evaluation in nonprofits: Necessary evil or tool for organizational learning? In R. L. Edwards & P. A. Kurzman (Eds.), Leading and managing nonprofit organizations. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Despard, M., Taing, V., Weaver, A., Roll, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2021). Material hardship among lower-income households: The role of liquid assets and place. Journal of Poverty. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10875549.2021.1925801

Despard, M., Zeng, Y., Fox-Dichter, S., Frank-Miller, E., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2021). Can workplace financial counseling help lower-income workers improve credit outcomes? Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. Advance online publication. doi:10.1891/JFCP-19-00081

Hamilton, L., Roll, S., Despard, M., Maag, E., & Chun, Y. (2021). Employment, financial and well-being effects of the 2021 Expanded Child Tax Credit: Wave 1 executive summary. Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://socialpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu/employment-financial-wellbeing-effects-2021-ctc-report/

Despard, M., Bufe, S., Roll, S., Kristensen, K., Fox-Dichter, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2021). Employment changes during COVID-19: The importance of employer attachment. Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/sites.wustl.edu/dist/a/2003/files/2021/09/Survey-COVID-Employment_Final_SPI.pdf

Bufe, S., Roll, S., Kristensen, K., Zhao, D., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2021). Use of public benefits over the first year of the pandemic: Exploring access, delays, and outcomes. Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/sites.wustl.edu/dist/a/2003/files/2021/09/Survey-COVID-Policy-Final_SPI.pdf

Hamilton, L., Despard, M., Roll, S., Bellisle, D., Hall, C. A., & Wright, A. (2021). Does frequency or amount matter? Testing the perceptions of four universal basic income proposals. [Working Paper]. Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/spi_research/45

Roll, S. & Despard, M. (2021). Income loss and financial distress during COVID-19: The protective role of liquid assets. [Working Paper]. https://ssrn.com/abstract=3733862

Despard, M., Frank-Miller, E., Zeng, Y., Fox-Dichter, S., Germain, G., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Covington, M. (2020). Employee financial wellness programs: Promising new benefit for frontline workers? Advance online publication. Compensation and Benefits Review. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0886368720942371 

Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2020). Household spending patterns and hardships during COVID-19: A comparative study of the U.S. and Israel. [Working Paper]. http://ssrn.com/abstract=3789304

Despard, M., & Zeng, Y. (2020). Financing workers’ health care cash flow needs: A pilot study (Research Report 20-03). Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://s3.amazonaws.com/cfsi-innovation-files-2018/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/22182422/BriefCover-MedPut-R3-Final.pdf

Despard, M., Zeng, Y., Kondratjeva, O., & Kristensen, K. (2020). Saving for a rainy day: Making it easier for employees to build emergency savings (Research Report 20-06). Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://s3.amazonaws.com/cfsi-innovation-files-2018/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/22182331/BriefCover-Onward-R3-Final.pdf

Despard, M. (2020). Don’t cash out or leave them behind: A pilot study of a 401k plan transfer digital platform (Research Report 20-05). Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://s3.amazonaws.com/cfsi-innovation-files-2018/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/22182503/BriefCover-manifest-R3-Final.pdf

Zeng, Y., Kristensen, K., & Despard, M. (2020). From financial struggle to short-term financial relief – An exploratory study of small-dollar lending for low- and moderate-income employees (Research Report 20-04). Social Policy Institute, Washington University in St. Louis. https://s3.amazonaws.com/cfsi-innovation-files-2018/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/22182544/BriefCover-honeybee-R3-Final.pdf

Despard, M., Frank-Miller, E., Fox-Dichter, S., Germain, G., & Conan, M. Employee financial wellness programs: Opportunities to promote financial inclusion? Advance online publication. Journal of Community Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2020.1796878

Jabbari, J., Kondratjeva, O., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2020, August 5). Low-income households falling further behind on student debt due to COVID-19. Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/08/05/low-income-households-falling-further-behind-on-student-debt-due-to-covid-19/

Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Chun, Y., & Roll, S.  (2020, July 13). COVID-19 job and income loss leading to more hunger and financial hardship. Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/07/13/covid-19-job-and-income-loss-leading-to-more-hunger-and-financial-hardship/

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Gupta, B., Chun, Y., Lee, H., & Despard, M. (2020, June 1). Housing hardships reach unprecedented heights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/06/01/housing-hardships-reach-unprecedented-heights-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Martin-West, S. (2020). Why do households lack emergency savings? The role of financial capability. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 41, 542-557. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-020-09679-8

Despard, M. Financial inclusion and social entrepreneurship. (2019). In M. Nandan, T. Bent-Goodley, & G. Mandayam, & (Eds.), Social work entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and social value creation. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Despard, M. Innovative practices in financial inclusion and asset building. (2019). In M. Nandan, T. Bent-Goodley, & G. Mandayam, & (Eds.), Social work entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and social value creation. Washington, DC: NASW Press. 

Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2020). The impact of tax refund delays on the experience of hardship and unsecured debt. [Working Paper]. https://ssrn.com/abstract=3619125

Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Huang, J. Financial inclusion and financial access. (2019). In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Social Work. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.1331

Bunger, A., Despard, M., Lee, M., & Cao, Y. (2019). The cost of quality: Organizational financial health and program quality. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 16, 18-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2018.1536575

Ansong, D., Okumu, M., Kim, Y. K., Despard, M., & Darfo-Oduro, R. (2019). Effects of education savings accounts on student engagement: Instrumental variable analysis. Global Social Welfare. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-019-00142-7

Frank-Miller, E., Despard, M., Germain, G., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Covington, M. (2019). Financial wellness programs in the workplace: Employer motivations and experiences. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health (Advance online publication). https://doi.org/10.1080/15555240.2019.1594851

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2019). Does the composition of financial services in a community relate to an individual’s savings account ownership? Journal of Community Practice, 27, 5-30. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2019.1580652

Ansong, D., Chowa, G. A., Masa, R., Despard, M., Sherraden, M., Wu, S., & Osei-Akoto, I. (2019). Effects of youth savings accounts on school attendance and academic performance: Evidence from a youth savings experiment. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 40, 269-281. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-018-9604-5

Despard, M., Zeng, Y., & Fox-Dichter, S. (2019). Financial counseling for low- and moderate-income employees: An assessment of engagement and outcomes. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-03). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute. https://socialpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu/brief-19-03/

Zeng, Y. & Despard, M. (2019) Credit-building services for employees: An assessment of engagement and outcomes. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-07). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute. https://socialpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu/brief-19-07/

Frank-Miller, E., Fox-Dichter, S., Wolter, S., Hampton, J., Despard, M., & Germain, G. (2019). Employer-sponsored small-dollar loans: An assessment of take-up, engagement, and outcomes. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-04). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute. https://socialpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu/brief-19-04/

Despard, M. R., & Frank-Miller, E. (2019). When a job is not enough: Employee financial wellness and the role of philanthropy. Asset Funders Network. https://assetfunders.org/resource/when-a-job-is-not-enough-employee-financial-wellness-and-the-role-of-philanthropy/

Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M., de Ruyter, A., Guo, S., Oliphant, J., & Friedline, T. (2018). Bank account ownership: Effects of a randomized tax-time savings intervention on savings account ownership among low- and moderate-income households. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 29, 219-233. doi:10.1891/1052-3073.29.2.219

Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Guo, S., Taylor, S., & Russell, B. (2018). Financial shocks, liquid assets, and material hardship in low- and moderate-income households: Differences by race. Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, 1, 205-216. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41996-018-0011-y

Despard, M., Ansong, D., Nafziger-Mayegun, R. N., & Adjabeng, B. (2018). Predictors of capacity-building needs among non-governmental organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Community Practice, 26, 204-224. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2018.1449043

Despard, M., Guo, S., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Russell, B., Oliphant, J., & de Ruyter, A. (2018). The mediating role of assets in explaining hardship risk among households experiencing financial shocks. Social Work Research, 42, 147-158. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svy012

Despard, M., Taylor, S., Ren, C., Russell, B., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Raghavan, R. (2018). Effects of a tax-time savings experiment on material and health care hardship among low-income filers. Journal of Poverty, 22, 156-178. https://doi.org/10.1080/10875549.2017.1348431

Ansong, D., Chowa, G. A., Masa, R., Despard, M., Sherraden, M., Wu, S., & Osei-Akoto, I. (2018). Effects of youth savings accounts on school attendance and academic performance: Evidence from a youth savings experiment. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-018-9604-5

Huang, J., Sherraden, M. S., Despard, M., Rothwell, D., Friedline, T., Doran, J.,… McKinney, R. (2018). Grand challenge #11: Build financial capability for all. In R. Fong, J. Lubben, & R. P. Barth (Eds.), Grand challenges for social work and society. New York: Oxford University Press.

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Cryder, C., Despard, M., Perantie, D., Oliphant, J., & Ariely, D. (2018). The role of choice architecture in promoting saving at tax time: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment. Behavioral Science & Policy, 3(2), 21-38. https://behavioralpolicy.org/articles/the-role-of-choice-architecture-in-promoting-saving-at-tax-time-evidence-from-a-large-scale-field-experiment/

Despard, M. R., Friedline, T., & Birkenmaier, J. (2018, May). Policy recommendations for helping U.S. households build emergency savings (Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative Policy Brief No. 11-3). Cleveland, OH: American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. http://aaswsw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/PB11-3.pdf

Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M. R., & Friedline, T. (2018, May). Policy recommendations for financial capability and asset building by increasing access to safe, affordable credit (Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative Policy Brief No. 11-2).Cleveland, OH: American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. http://aaswsw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/PB11-2.pdf

Friedline, T., Despard, M. R., & Birkenmaier, J. (2018, May). Policy recommendations for expanding access to banking and financial services (Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative Policy Brief No. 11-4). Cleveland, OH: American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. http://aaswsw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/PB11-4.pdf

Fox-Dichter, S., Zeng, Y., Despard, M., Frank-Miller, E., & Germain, G. (2018). Employee financial wellness programs: Differences in reach by financial circumstances (SPI Research Brief No. 18-02). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute. https://socialpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu/employee-financial-wellness-programs-differences-in-reach-by-financial-circumstances/

Fox-Dichter, S., Despard, M., Frank-Miller, E., & Germain, G. (2018). Employee financial wellness programs: Differences in reach by race and ethnicity (SPI Research Brief No. 18-01). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute. https://socialpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu/employee-financial-wellness-programs-differences-in-reach-by-race-and-ethnicity/

Freeman, A., Despard, M., Kiviat, B., Fox, J., & Hoffman, C. (2018, October). Employers’ use of credit reports in hiring: What are the disparate impacts on the economically vulnerable and how can they be addressed? (White Paper submitted to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation). Chapel Hill, NC: Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Freeman, A., McDaniel, M., & Despard, M. (2018, May). Assessing and promoting opportunity in low- and moderate-income communities: Findings from New Orleans and San Francisco. Chapel Hill, NC: Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://communitycapital.unc.edu/research/hoareport/

Dorrance, J., Despard, M., Barnard, J., Hoffman, C., Goldstein, E., & Stern, M. (2018, April). Housing and financial capabilities: Integrating and enhancing services for residents. Chapel Hill, NC: Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://communitycapital.unc.edu/files/2018/06/FinCap-Report.pdf

Davison, G., Roll, S. P., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Despard, M. R., & Bufe, S. (2018). Refund to Savings 2015–2016: Field experiments to promote tax-time saving in low- and moderate-income households(CSD Research Report No. 18-28). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://csd.wustl.edu/Publications/Documents/RR18-28.pdf

Sun, S., Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S. P., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2018). Financial well-being in low- and moderate-income households: How does it compare to the general population? (SPI Research Brief No. 18-03). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute.

Despard, M., Nafziger-Mayegun, R. N., & Adjabeng, B. (2017). Does revenue diversification predict financial vulnerability among non-governmental organizations in sub-Saharan Africa? VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28, 2124-2144. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-017-9835-3

Wu, S., Despard, M., & Chowa, G. A. N. (2017). The role of parents in introducing children to financial services: Evidence from Ghana-YouthSave. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 38, 453-462. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-017-9519-6  

Despard, M. (2017). Can nonprofit capacity be measured? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 46, 607-626. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764016661425

Cuddeback, G., Blank Wilson, A., Despard, M., Tomar, N., & Chowa, G. (2017). Financial insecurity and risk experiences of justice involved persons with severe mental illnesses. Social Work in Mental Health, 15, 615-631. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332985.2016.1267069

Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Ren, C., Guo, S., & Raghavan, R. (2017). Effects of a tax-time savings intervention on use of alternative financial services among lower-income households. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 51, 355-379. https://doi.org/10.1111/joca.12138

Hannon, G., Covington, M., Despard, M., Frank-Miller, E., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2017). Employee financial wellness programs: A review of the literature and directions for future research (CSD Working Paper No. 17-23). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/csd_research/596/

Despard, M., & Friedline, T. (2017). Do metropolitan areas have equal access to banking? A geographic investigation of financial services availability. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI). https://aedi.ssw.umich.edu/publications/1701-do-metropolitan-areas-have-equal-access-to-banking

Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Refior, K. (2017). Can post offices increase access to financial services? A geographic investigation of financial services availability. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI). https://aedi.ssw.umich.edu/publications/1700-can-post-offices-increase-access-to-financial-services

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2017). Navigating day-to-day finances: A geographic investigation of brick-and-mortar financial services and households’ financial health. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI). https://aedi.ssw.umich.edu/publications/1703-navigating-day-to-day-finances

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2017). Resilient in the midst of financial change: A geographic investigation of brick-and-mortar financial services and households’ financial health. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI). https://aedi.ssw.umich.edu/publications/1704-resilient-in-the-midst-of-financial-change

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2017). Investing in the future: A geographic investigation of brick-and-mortar financial services and households’ financial health. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI). https://www.newamerica.org/family-centered-social-policy/policy-papers/investing-future/

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Despard, M., Guo, S., Russell, B., Key, C., & Raghavan, R. (2016). Do tax-time savings deposits improve financial outcomes and reduce hardship among low-income filers? A propensity score analysis. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 7, 707-728. https://doi.org/10.1086/689357

Despard, M., Perantie, D., Taylor, S., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Friedline, T., & Raghavan, R. (2016). Student debt and hardship: Evidence from a large sample of low- and moderate-income households. Children and Youth Services Review, 70, 8-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.09.001

Zerden, L., Sheely, A., & Despard, M. (2016). Debunking macro myths: Findings from recent graduates about jobs, salaries and skills. Social Work Education, 35, 752-766. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2016.1188915

Despard, M. (2016). Challenges in implementing evidence-based practices and programs in nonprofit human service organizations. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13, 505-522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2015.1086719

Despard, M. (2016). Strengthening evaluation in nonprofit human service organizations: Results of a capacity-building experiment. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance, 40, 352-368. https://doi.org/10.1080/23303131.2016.1140101

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & Chowa, G. A. N. (2016). Preventive policy strategy for banking the unbanked: Savings accounts for teenagers? Journal of Poverty, 20, 2-33. https://doi.org/10.1080/10875549.2015.1015068

Huang, J., Sherraden, M. S., Clancy, M. M., Sherraden, M., Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M. R., Frey, J. J., Callahan, C., & Rothwell, D. (2016). Policy recommendations for meeting the grand challenge to build financial capability and assets for all. Baltimore, MD: American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Despard, M. R., Perantie, D. C., Oliphant, J. E., Roll, S. P., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2016, July). The role of health insurance in the financial lives of low- and moderate-income households (CSD Research Brief No. 16-26). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/csd_research/614/

Despard, M. R., Taylor, S. H., Perantie, D. C., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2016, May). The burden of student debt: Findings from a survey of low- and moderate-income households (CSD Research Brief No. 16-15). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/csd_research/612/

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Perantie, D. C., Oliphant, J. E., deRuyter, A., & Despard, M. R. (2016). Characteristics and hardships associated with bank account ownership among Refund to Savings participants (CSD Research Brief No. 16-09). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/csd_research/588/