Benefit-Cost Analysis Findings from the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED)

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica and Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Mar 30, 2019
Quinn Moore, Katherine Anne Magnuson, and April Yanyuan Wu

Many noncustodial parents, including a disproportionate share of those whose children live in poverty, have limited earnings and ability to pay child support. In 2012, the Office of Child Support Enforcement in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, launched the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) to examine the effectiveness of child-support–led employment programs for noncustodial parents. The goal of CSPED was to improve parental reliability in paying child support in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. In this benefit-cost analysis, researchers compared the benefits of the CSPED program as measured in the impact evaluation to the costs of administering the program. They found that costs outweighed benefits in the short term, but in the longer term, it is likely that benefits would outweigh costs.

This work was conducted by Mathematica in partnership with the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.