The EARN-Health Trial of Financial Savings and Health

Not Recruiting

Trial ID: NCT02185612


The current literature in social epidemiology and public health suggests that low financial savings has an unsurprising negative relationship with subjective well-being, and increases the odds of making visits to a healthcare provider, receiving a chronic disease diagnosis, and experiencing medical disability. is a community-based non-profit based in San Francisco with a mission to help low-income workers build lifelong savings habits and financial capability. The organization is one of the largest providers of "goal-based savings accounts" or "matched savings accounts" in the US. The investigators propose to conduct a randomized controlled trial to determine the health effects of Earn's savings program. Through this trial, the investigators will test three principal hypotheses: (1) Participants in the Earn account, as compared to a control group, are hypothesized to demonstrate improved scores on mental health scales assessing depression and anxiety. (2) Participants in the Earn account, as compared to a control group, are hypothesized to experience lower odds of harmful behaviors associated with stress, specifically tobacco and alcohol abuse. The investigators hypothesize that the effect on behaviors will be of smaller effect size, and more delayed, than the effect on mental health outcomes, judging from similar effects observed in the micro-credit literature. (3) The mediating variables between Earn account participation and beneficial health outcomes will include increased optimism and internal locus of control.

Official Title

EARN-Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of an Incentivized Savings Program on Depression, Anxiety, Substance Abuse, and Locus of Control

Stanford Investigator(s)


Inclusion Criteria:

   - English-speaking US residents

   - ages 18 and older

   - below 50% of the area median income

   - have a regular Internet connection

Exclusion Criteria:

   - non-English speakers

   - non-US residents

   - children,

   - history of or current enrollment in other incentivized savings programs


behavioral: Savings program

Not Recruiting

Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Sanjay Basu