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Policies to promote economic stability, asset building, and child development

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  • Lewis, Melinda
  • Cramer, Reid
  • Elliott, William
  • Sprague, Aleta
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    Abstract

    This paper makes the case that the pattern low-income families walk into is a present time-oriented or consumption-based welfare system, with attendant incentives and disincentives; in contrast, the pattern higher-income families walk into is future-oriented or asset-based. These two divergent systems do not deliver equitable educational outcomes for children. To ensure that higher education can play an equalizing role in the U.S. economy, the nation needs a better welfare system for the poor, one that builds on the asset-accumulation structures that serve the needs of advantaged families. This new institutional approach would undo the current system of educational advantages for higher-income children over low-income children and, in turn, redress educational inequalities in America. In order to create a level playing field welfare policies are needed that enable low-income families to accumulate assets. In this paper we discuss policies that might help low-income families accumulate assets, including modifications to existing income supports, as well as the development of complementary asset-based institutions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740913003253
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 15-21

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:15-21

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Assets; CDAs; Income shocks; Asset shocks; Asset poverty; Asset policy;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Aaronson, Daniel, 2000. "A Note on the Benefits of Homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 356-369, May.
    2. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yunju Nam, 2008. "Welfare Reform and Asset Accumulation: Asset Limit Changes, Financial Assets, and Vehicle Ownership," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(1), pages 133-154.
    4. Robert Haveman & Edward Wolff, 2004. "The concept and measurement of asset poverty: Levels, trends and composition for the U.S., 1983–2001," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 145-169, August.
    5. Elliott, William & Friedline, Terri & Nam, Ilsung, 2013. "Probability of living through a period of economic instability," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 453-460.
    6. Leventhal, Tama & Newman, Sandra, 2010. "Housing and child development," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1165-1174, September.
    7. Zhan, Min & Sherraden, Michael, 2011. "Assets and liabilities, educational expectations, and children's college degree attainment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 846-854, June.
    8. Hacker, Jacob S., 2008. "The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195335347.
    9. Tufano, Peter & De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Maynard, Nick, 2011. "U.S. consumer demand for prize-linked savings: New evidence on a new product," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 116-118, May.
    10. Elliott, William, 2013. "Small-dollar children's savings accounts and children's college outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 572-585.
    11. Mark R. Rank & Thomas A. Hirschl, 2001. "Rags or Riches? Estimating the Probabilities of Poverty and Affluence across the Adult American Life Span," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 82(4), pages 651-669.
    12. Zhan, Min, 2006. "Assets, parental expectations and involvement, and children's educational performance," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 961-975, August.
    13. Elliott, William, 2013. "The effects of economic instability on children's educational outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 461-471.
    14. Cramer, Reid, 2010. "The big lift: Federal policy efforts to create Child Development Accounts," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1538-1543, November.
    15. Elliott, William & Destin, Mesmin & Friedline, Terri, 2011. "Taking stock of ten years of research on the relationship between assets and children's educational outcomes: Implications for theory, policy and intervention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2312-2328.
    16. Adams, Deborah & Nam, Yunju & Williams Shanks, Trina R. & Hicks, Sarah & Robinson, Christine, 2010. "Research on assets for children and youth: Reflections on the past and prospects for the future," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1617-1621, November.
    17. James Poterba & Todd Sinai, 2008. "Tax Expenditures for Owner-Occupied Housing: Deductions for Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest and the Exclusion of Imputed Rental Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 84-89, May.
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