Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

  1. Investing in the Future

    Households need access to financial services that enhance their long-term financial health by providing opportunities to accumulate assets and build credit. Under this purview, banks and credit unions can be used for future investment, and alternative financial service (AFS) providers have been heavily critiqued for their role in undermining households’ long-term financial health. The types of financial services available within the community may be associated with financial health, improving or impeding a household’s ability to invest in the future, maintain a manageable level of debt, and achieve long-term goals.

    This study used data on financial services, individual/household and community demographics (including smartphone use), and household financial health to test whether the geographic concentrations or densities of bank and credit union branches and AFS providers within communities were associated with households’ financial health. We used two measures of financial services: the numbers of financial services per 1,000 population, or densities, and the composition of financial services densities relative to one another. We explored these associations by income as the availability of financial services within communities varies based on household income levels.

    The findings from this study are not intended to be used for drawing clear prescriptions about building brick-and-mortar branches in communities. Instead, these findings offer preliminary understandings of whether the availability of financial services in communities relates to households’ financial health, for which households, and under what conditions.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2017). Investing in the future: A geographic investigation of brick-and-mortar financial services and households’ financial health. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI).

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Despard, Mathieu R., West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Report Year 2017

  2. Navigating Day-to-Day Finances

    A household with good financial health owns basic financial products and uses these products to navigate their day-to-day financial needs, such as managing and paying their bills. However, one potential pitfall that households may face as they try to navigate their finances is that certain types of financial services may not be readily available in the communities where they live. For example, the availability of banks, credit unions, or alternative financial service (AFS) providers in a household’s community may be limited. Hence, a household may be drawn to certain types of financial services that may improve or impede their ability to sustain good financial health, depending on the services that are most geographically convenient.

    This study used data on financial services, individual/household and community demographics (including smartphone use), and household financial health to test whether the geographic concentrations or densities of bank and credit union branches and AFS providers within communities were associated with households’ financial health. We used two measures of financial services: the numbers of financial services per 1,000 population, or densities, and the composition of financial services densities relative to one another. We explored these associations by income as the availability of financial services within communities varies based on household income levels.

    The findings from this study are not intended to be used for drawing clear prescriptions about building brick-and-mortar branches in communities. Instead, these findings offer preliminary understandings of whether the availability of financial services in communities relates to households’ financial health, for which households, and under what conditions.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2017). Navigating day-to-day finances: A geographic investigation of brick-and-mortar financial services and households’ financial health. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI).

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Despard, Mathieu R., West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Report Year 2017

  3. Resilient in the Midst of Financial Change

    A household’s ability to adjust to changing financial circumstances provides evidence of good financial health and demonstrates their resilience in the face of unexpected financial emergencies. To reinforce their resilience, households may use savings, credit, and insurance from financial services such as banks, credit unions, and alternative financial service (AFS) providers. The types of financial services available within the community may be associated with resilience, improving or impeding a household’s ability to save for emergencies or access credit.

    This study used data on financial services, individual/household and community demographics (including smartphone use), and household financial health to test whether the geographic concentrations or densities of bank and credit union branches and AFS providers within communities were associated with households’ financial health. We explored these associations by income given that households may be exposed to varying densities of financial services within communities based on their income levels.

    The findings from this study are not intended to be used for drawing clear prescriptions about building brick-and-mortar branches in communities. Instead, these findings offer preliminary understandings of whether the availability of financial services in communities relates to households’ financial health, for which households, and under what conditions.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2017). Resilient in the midst of financial change: A geographic investigation of brick-and-mortar financial services and households’ financial health. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, & Inclusion (AEDI).

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Despard, Mathieu R., West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Report Year 2017

  4. Building Millennials' Financial Health

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & West, S. (2015). Building Millennials' financial health via financial capability. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI).

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Infographic Year 2015

  5. Coming of Age on a Shoestring Budget: Financial Capability for Lower-Income Millennials

    This study, generously funded by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, examined the financial health and capability of lower-income Millennial young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 (annual incomes < $25,000; N = 2,578) from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS). In particular, this study explored how varying combinations of financial education and financial inclusion related to Millennials' financial behaviors, like saving for emergencies, using alternative financial service providers, and carrying debt. The 2012 NFCS is one of the few data sets with extensive questions about financial behaviors. The results identifying significant differences in the data were based on multiply imputed and propensity score weighted (average treatment effect for the treated; ATT) regression analyses of young adults in the sample.

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    Citation

    West, S., & Friedline, T. (2015). Coming of age on a shoestring budget: Financial capability for lower-income Millennials (AEDI Research Brief). Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center for Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    West, Stacia, Friedline, Terri

    Financial Inclusion Brief Year 2015

  6. Do Community Characteristics Relate to Young Adult College Students’ Credit Card Debt?

    This study examines the extent of emergent, outstanding credit card debt among young adult college students and investigates whether any associations exist between the characteristics of the communities in which these students grew up or lived and their credit card debt. Using data (N = 748) from a longitudinal survey and merging community-level characteristics measured at the zip code level, we confirmed that a community’s unemployment rate, average total debt, average credit score, and number of bank branch offices were associated with a young adult college student’s acquisition and accumulation of credit card debt. Community-level characteristics had the strongest associations with credit card debt even after controlling for individual characteristics such as a young adult college student’s race, GPA, and financial independence and familial characteristics such as their parents’ income and whether their parents discussed financial matters like establishing credit. The findings from this research may help to understand how communities can be better capacitated to support the financial goals of their residents.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., West, S., Rosell, N., Serido, J., & Shim, S. (2015). Do community characteristics relate to young adult college students’ credit card debt (AEDI Research Brief)? Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia, Rosell, Nehemiah, Serido, Joyce, Shim, Soyeon

    Financial Inclusion Brief Year 2015

  7. Do Community Characteristics Relate to Young Adult College Students’ Credit Card Debt?

    Credit cards are a fundamental component of households’ financial portfolios in the United States; however, overreliance on credit may contribute to financial setbacks. The potential for financial setbacks is particularly concerning among the current young adult generation that is accumulating higher amounts of credit card debt than preceding generations. These trends have led many researchers and policymakers to argue that financial education should become a fundamental component of public school curricula, assuming that financially educated young adults would make better, healthier decisions about credit. However, young adults’ credit card debt may be more than an individual phenomenon. A young adult’s street address—the community in which they grow up or live—can be a key factor in determining how they use credit. This study uses restricted-access, zip code data from a longitudinal sample of 748 young adult college students to examine whether the characteristics of the communities in which they grew up or lived prior to attending college relates to their outstanding credit card debt. A community’s characteristics, such as its unemployment rate and concentration of mainstream banks, have the strongest associations with a young adults’ credit card debt even after taking into consideration their financial education or whether their parents taught them about money as they were growing up. Findings help to understand how communities can be better capacitated to support young adults’ financial health.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., West, S., Rosell, N., Serido, J., & Shim, S. (2015). Do community characteristics relate to young adult college students' credit card debt? The hypothesized role of collective institutional efficacy. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia, Rosell, Nehemiah, Serido, Joyce, Shim, Soyeon

    Financial Inclusion Working Paper Year 2015

  8. Financial Education is Not Enough: Millenials May Need Financial Capability for Healthy Financial Behaviors

    Financial education sans opportunities for hands-on experience and knowledge operationalization may be insufficient for promoting healthy financial behaviors. Financial capability combines financial education with financial inclusion via a savings account, thereby giving an opportunity translate knowledge into practice. This study used data from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study to examine relationships between financial capability and financial behaviors of United States Millennials (N = 6,865). Compared to their financially excluded peers, Millennials who were financially capable were 176% more likely to afford unexpected expenses, 224% more likely to save for emergencies, 21% less likely to use alternative financial services, and 30% less likely to carry burdensome debt. Interventions that focus solely on financial education or inclusion may be insufficient for facilitating Millennials’ healthy financial behaviors; interventions should instead develop financial capability.

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    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Working Paper Year 2015

  9. Financial Education is Not Enough: Millennials May Need Financial Capability

    This study, generously funded by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, examined the financial health and capability of Millennial young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 (N = 6,865) from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS). In particular, this study explored how varying combinations of financial education and financial inclusion related to Millennials' financial behaviors, like saving for emergencies, using alter-native financial service providers, and carrying debt. The 2012 NFCS is one of the few data sets with extensive questions about financial behaviors. The results identifying significant differences in the data were based on multiply imputed and propensity score weighted (average treatment effect for the treated; ATT) regression analyses of young adults in the sample

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & West, S. (2015). Financial education is not enough (AEDI Research Brief). Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center for Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Brief Year 2015

  10. The Landscape of Millennials' Financial Capability

    This study, generously funded by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, examined the financial health and capability of Millennial young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 (N = 6,865) from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS). In particular, this study explored how varying combinations of financial education and financial inclusion related to Millennials' financial behaviors, like saving for emergencies, using alternative financial service providers, and carrying debt. The 2012 NFCS is one of the few data sets with extensive questions about financial behaviors. The results identifying significant differences in the data were based on multiply imputed and propensity score weighted (average treatment effect for the treated; ATT) regression analyses of young adults in the sample.

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Friedline, T., & West, S. (2015). The landscape of Millennials’ financial capability (AEDI Research Brief). Lawrence, KS: University of Kan-sas, Center for Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Brief Year 2015

  11. Young Adult's Race, Wealth, and Entrepreneurship

    The current young adult generation is expected to lead a resurgence in entrepreneurial activities in the United States and these activities are expected to drive economic growth in the coming years. However, young adults may find it difficult to fulfill the expectations of becoming entrepreneurs and drivers of economic growth. This is because entrepreneurial opportunities are typically reserved for the wealthiest and most privileged Americans who have the financial resources needed to invest in starting small businesses, such as savings and access to credit. In contrast, young adults have not had much time to save money, build credit, or accumulate wealth. Moreover, given historic wealth inequalities rooted in racism and discrimination, young adults from racial and ethnic minority groups may be left out of the entrepreneurial resurgence and its economic benefits. This study analyzes nationally representative, longitudinal data to addresses the questions of whether young adults' wealth can support their entrepreneurial activities by becoming self-employed and whether black and Latino/a young adults leverage their wealth differently to support their entrepreneurial activities. Generally, the probability of being selfemployed;increases for all young adults as they accumulate wealth. However, wealth may play an outsized role in the self-employment of black and Latino/a young adults. Black and Latino/a young adults may not be able to rely on taking out a small loan at a bank or credit union in order to open their business; instead, they may be forced to use their own limited wealth for pursuing entrepreneurship. Policies are needed that support wealth accumulation (particularly for racial and ethnic minorities), remove discriminatory lending practices, and provide young entrepreneurs with access to credit.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & West, S. (2015). Young adults' race, wealth, and entrepreneurship (AEDI Research Brief). Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Brief Year 2015

  12. Young Adults' Race, Wealth, and Enterpreneurship

    This study explored relationships among young adults’ wealth and entrepreneurial activities with emphasis on how these relationships differ among racial and ethnic groups. Using data (N = 8,984) from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, results indicate that being Black or Latino/a, as well as liquid asset holdings and net worth, were significantly related to the likelihood of self-employment. In analyses disaggregated by race or ethnicity, greater liquid asset holdings were associated with the decreased likelihood of self-employment among white young adults. Black young adults’ greater debt and net worth were associated with increased likelihoods of entrepreneurial activity. Among Latino/a young adults, greater liquid asset holdings and net worth were associated with increased likelihoods of self-employment. Wealth may play an outsized role in the self-employment of black and Latino/a young adults compared to that of their white counterparts. Racial and ethnic minority young adults may have a heavier burden for generating their own capital to embark on entrepreneurial activities when mainstream credit markets are unresponsive or inaccessible. Policy implications are discussed.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & West, S. (2015). Young adults' race, wealth, and entrepreneurship. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, West, Stacia

    Financial Inclusion Working Paper Year 2015