Portfolios of Atlanta’s Poor

The Dean’s Behavioral Economics Lab, in partnership with the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR), the Department of Risk Management and Insurance, and the Economics Department, is launching the Portfolios of Atlanta’s Poor (PAP) project.

The overall goal of the PAP project is to identify and test interventions that have the potential to provide manageable and financially‐sustainable adjustments to the existing set of solutions to poverty and social problems in Atlanta. The PAP project is motivated by the vision that behavioral and experimental economics can help us understand why people underutilize helpful programs, products and/or services, who is more or less likely to participate, and how the programs, products and/or services might be tweaked to better serve everyone. Among those who participate, it can help us understand who the intervention helps, and for whom there need to be changes in the intervention to generate success.

An essential foundation for this new large‐scale research project is to build a network of collaborators in

the Atlanta area.  We will work with representatives from other institutions and organizations that either do research or are engaged at the ground‐level, providing solutions to poverty problems in Atlanta. We will bring our potential collaborators together to discuss similarities and differences in philosophy, methodology, client characteristics, and geographic coverage area.

We are currently working with two organizations which have programs suitable for us to work with during our pilot study period next year, and we are developing plans with organizations which have programs that are more suitable for collaboration during a later stage, 6 months to a year from now.