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

Author

Listed:
  • Lewis, Melinda
  • Cramer, Reid
  • Elliott, William
  • Sprague, Aleta

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewis, Melinda & Cramer, Reid & Elliott, William & Sprague, Aleta, 2014. "Policies to promote economic stability, asset building, and child development," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 15-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:15-21
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.10.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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