Start your brilliant career with a degree from Australia's #1 ranked university.


Find contact details for any general enquiries.

Engage with us

Find contact details for any general enquiries.

Study with us

Our graduates gain the knowledge and skills to lead organisations, develop public policy, create new companies and undertake research.

Our research

Our research is focused on issues that are highly significant for organisations, the Australian economy, and society at large.

Current Students

Whether you're a new or continuing student, you can find everything you need here about managing your program and the opportunities available to you.


Our alumni may be found in the world’s leading companies, policy agencies and universities.

Contact us

Find contact details for any general enquiries.

image: CBE

image: CBE

Welfare hidden in unclaimed properties

2 December 2019

2 minute read

Dr Eva Vivalt from the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) has been awarded a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) to explore the crisis of unclaimed properties in the US. The RSF offers highly competitive funding for research, particularly related to social mobility and inequality.

Billions of dollars are tied up in unclaimed properties by state governments in the US, which results in a loss of welfare for the owners who fail to recover the amount that is owed to them.

Eva’s work will examine the types of unclaimed property owed, the demographics of those who have not claimed them and what their reasons are.

“I propose to document these basic facts and test the effectiveness of providing information and assistance in recovering the unclaimed property,” says Eva, who works in the CBE Research School of Economics.

The study will also investigate the consequences of receiving a large, positive income shock on outcomes such as debt and credit.

“There are some estimates that the US government holds over US$58 billion in unclaimed properties, so it is possible that a relatively inexpensive intervention could result in large welfare gains,” Eva says.

Prior to this study, much of the research in this area has focused on why eligible people fail to take up social programs in the US, like food stamps and tax credits. There has been no exploration about the obstacles and challenges people face in recovering unclaimed property.

This study will be the first to focus explicitly on unclaimed property and is expected to improve the understanding of the barriers to recovering it and its impact on financial health.


The College is always keen to explore research collaborations with the public and private sector and to reconnect with alumni. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about partnering with us. 

Updated:   11 February 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team