Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

  1. "It's a generosity loop": Perceptions of Field Gleaning as Anti-Hunger Volunteerism

    Citation

    Dennis, M. K., Scanlon, E., & Sellon, A. (in review). "It's a generosity loop": Perceptions of Field Gleaning as Anti-Hunger Volunteerism. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

    Authors

    Dennis, M. K., Scanlon, Edward, Sellon, A.

    Poverty Journal Article Year 2015

  2. A developmental perspective on children's economic agency

    Understanding children’s development is critical in the midst of efforts that teach children about money and open savings accounts for them early in life. These efforts are delivered at a time of extensive developmental change, yet with limited attention to this context. Through a review of research, this study unveils the ages at which children may be able to save and to use savings accounts—specific aspects of economic knowledge and behavior—based on cognitive, social, and linguistic development. Children are developmentally capable of saving by age five or six. Children’s developmental gains at this age may prepare them for the gains they make in economic knowledge and behavior. Implications are discussed with regard to policy efforts like Child Development Accounts (CDAs) that open savings accounts for young children and encourage saving behaviors. CDAs should take development into consideration if children are to use their accounts for their benefit.

    Citation

    Friedline, T. (2015). A developmental perspective on children's economic agency. Journal of Consumer Affairs [Special Issue: Starting Early for Financial Success: Capability into Action]).

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri

    Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2015

  3. Economic conditions and child maltreatment: Toward an agenda for social work

    Citation

    Conrad-Hiebner, A., & Scanlon, E. (2015). Economic conditions and child maltreatment: Toward an agenda for social work. Families in Society.

    Authors

    Conrad-Hiebner, Aislinn, Scanlon, Edward

    Poverty Journal Article Year 2015

  4. Educational and Financial Institutions Partnering to Implement CSAs

    Citation

    Friedline, T., Scanlon, E., Johnson, T., & Elliott W. (accepted). Educational and Financial Institutions Partnering to Implement CSAs: Evaluation of Financial Partners' Perspectives from the 2011 GEAR UP Invitational Priority. Journal of Community Practice

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Scanlon, Edward, Johnson, Toni

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2015

  5. From Helena to Harlem: Barriers to saving at two SEED sites

    Citation

    Wittman, L., & Scanlon, E. (in press). From Helena to Harlem: Barriers to saving at two SEED sites. Journal of Community Practice.

    Authors

    Wittman, LeAnn, Scanlon, Edward

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2015

  6. Preventive policy strategy for banking the unbanked: Savings accounts for teenagers

    Citation

    Friedline, T., Despard, M., & Chowa, G. (2015). Preventive policy strategy for banking the unbanked: Savings accounts for teenagers? Journal of Poverty.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Despard, Mathieu R., Chowa, Gina A.N.

    Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2015

  7. The relationship between income and net worth in the U.S.A

    Citation

    Rauscher, E. and Elliott, W. (2015). The relationship between income and net worth in the U.S.A: Virtuous cycle for high but not low income households. Journal of Poverty

    Authors

    Rauscher, Emily, Elliott III, William

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2015

  8. Wealth as security: Growth curve analyses of household income and net worth during a recession

    Building on evidence of increasing inequality with the 2008–2009 recession, we asked whether households experienced different financial trajectories through the recession depending on initial income and net worth. Using growth curve models of households headed by young adults in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we compared the relationship between initial income and net worth and the rate of change of income and net worth from 1989 to 2011 among households with income above and below $50,000. We found different patterns of income change and different relationships among income, net worth, and their rates of change between high- and low-income categories. Results suggest initial wealth helped to stabilize income and wealth changes among higher income households, reducing financial insecurity.

    Citation

    Rauscher, E. and Elliott, W. (2015). Wealth as security: Growth curve analyses of household income and net worth during a recession. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, March.

    Authors

    Rauscher, Emily, Elliott III, William

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2015

  9. Assets and African Americans: Attempting to capitalize on hopes for children through college savings accounts

    Although some racial inequalities have lessened in the half-century since the passage of the first major civil rights legislation, the racial wealth gap remains and in recent years seems to be widening. Households with children are the least likely to be asset secure or have sufficient resources to enable investment in opportunities for mobility. Viewing inequality from this perspective indicates that what households are able to save and invest for the future might have a more lasting impact on the life chances of children than their current income and consumption. Summarizing data from the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) Initiative, a quasi-experimental study that is part of a national demonstration of Child Development Accounts (CDAs) in the United States, this paper describes how African-American households engage with one important investment opportunity - college savings accounts for their pre-school children. Combining account monitoring, survey, interview and focus group data, we explore the reasons that many households chose not to open accounts or invest their own money. We offer suggestions for making asset development programs viable for low-income African-American families and their children.

    Citation

    Shanks, T., Nicoll, K., & Johnson, T. (2014). Assets and African Americans: Attempting to capitalize on hopes for children through college savings accounts. The Review of Black Political Economy, 41 (3) 337-356.

    Authors

    Johnson, Toni, Shanks, Trina R., Nicoll, Kerri Leyda

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2014

  10. Households' net worth accumulation patterns and young adults' financial well-being: Ripple effects of the Great Recession

    We examined households’ dynamic patterns of net worth accumulation between 1999 and 2009 and asked whether these patterns related to the financial health of young adults growing up in those households. Two patterns of net worth emerged—the first remained high and stable and the second experienced a precipitous decline between 2007 and 2009. Young adults who grew up in households with high and stable net worth also experienced the greatest benefit in financial health. Given wealth losses in the wake of the Great Recession and the ripple effects those losses may have had—and may continue to have—on households and their children, policies that stimulate wealth accumulation may be feasible and timely strategies for improving financial health.

    Citation

    Friedline, T., Nam, I., & Loke, V. (2014). Households' net worth accumulation patterns and young adults' financial well-being: Ripple effects of the Great Recession? Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 35, 390-410.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Nam, Ilsung, Loke, Vernon

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2014

  11. Savings from ages 16 to 35: A test to inform Child Development Account policy

    This study examines savings from childhood to young adulthood with a sample of 14,223 individuals from the 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). We employed a cohort sequential accelerated latent growth model that combined a series of cohorts to represent a common developmental trajectory spanning 19 years—ages 16–35—and accounted for relevant covariates. Descriptively, the proportions of savings account ownership increased steadily between ages 16 and 30 and then leveled off. In other words, a critical time for intervention may occur between ages 16 and 30 when the proportion of account ownership is increasing. Proportions of savings accumulation also rose steadily, with a mean low of $636 between ages 16 and 20 to a mean high of $1,160 between ages 31 and 35. Gender, race, employment status, and household income and net worth were associated with initial variability in savings at ages 16–20 and rate of change in savings over time through age 35. Results can inform policies and programs that open savings accounts for children as a way of helping them remain financially secure across their life course.

    Citation

    Friedline, T., & Nam, I. (2014). Savings from ages 16 to 35: A test to inform Child Development Account policy. Poverty & Public Policy, 6(1), 46–70.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Nam, Ilsung

    Children's Saving Account / Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2014

  12. Student loan debt: Can parent's college savings help?

    Postsecondary education costs in the United States today are rising with an increasing shift from societal responsibility to individual burden, thereby driving greater student borrowing. Evidence suggests that (i) such student debt may have undesirable educational effects and potentially jeopardize household balance sheets and (ii) student loans may better support educational attainment and economic mobility if accompanied by other, non-repayable financial awards. However, given declines in need-based aid and falling state support for postsecondary costs, policymakers and parents alike have failed to produce a compelling complement to debt-dependent financial aid that is capable of improving outcomes and forestalling assumption of ever-increasing student debt for a majority of U.S. households. This article, which relies on longitudinal data from the Educational Longitudinal Study, finds parental college savings may be an important protective factor in reducing debt assumption. However, several other factors increase the likelihood students will borrow: perceiving financial aid as necessary for college attendance, expecting to borrow to finance higher education, having moderate income, and attending a for-profit college. After controlling for student and school variables, the authors find that parental college savings increase a student’s chance of accumulating lower debt (less than $2,000) compared with students lacking such savings. Policy innovations to increase parental college savings—such as children’s savings accounts—could be an important piece of the response to the student debt problem in the United States.

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    Citation

    Elliott, W., Lewis, M., Nam, I., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2014). Student loan debt: Can parent's college savings help? Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Review, 96 (4), 331-57.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda, Nam, Ilsung, Grinstein-Weiss, Michal

    College Debt Journal Article Year 2014

  13. Student loans: Are we getting our money’s worth?

    Citation

    Elliott, W. (2014). Student loans: Are we getting our money’s worth? Change: The Magazine of Higher Education, 46(4), 26-33.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William

    College Debt Journal Article Year 2014

  14. The effect of wealth inequality on higher education outcomes: A critical review.

    American society reflects considerable class immobility, much of which may be explained by the wide gaps in college completion rates between economically advantaged and disadvantaged groups of students. First, we discuss the factors that lead to unequal college completion rates and introduce assets as an explanation often ignored by stratification scholars. We then discuss how a legacy of wealth inequality has led to wealthy students having an advantage at the financial aid bargaining table over low-income and minority students. We conclude by discussing how asset-building policies such as children’s savings accounts offer a potential policy strategy to alter the distributional consequences of the current financial aid system and help level the playing field.

    Citation

    Rauscher, E. and Elliott, W. (2014). The effect of wealth inequality on higher education outcomes: A critical review. Sociology Mind, 4, 282-297.

    Authors

    Rauscher, Emily, Elliott III, William

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2014

  15. The independent effects of savings accounts in children’s names on their savings outcomes in young adulthood

    A question of interest in children’s savings research asks whether there are unique effects on children’s later savings when savings accounts are opened in their names earlier in life, either independently from and or simultaneously with accounts in which parents save on children’s behalf. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study created a combined measure of children’s (ages 12–19) and parents’ savings account ownership to predict savings outcomes in young adulthood (ages 20–25). All possible combinations of children’s and parents’ account ownership were significantly related to young adults’ savings account ownership; however, only children’s savings account ownership was significantly related to savings accumulation. Implications for the independent effects of savings accounts in children’s names are discussed.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T. (2014). The independent effects of savings accounts in children’s names on their savings outcomes in young adulthood. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 25(1), 69–89.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri

    Children's Saving Account / Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2014

  16. Toward healthy balance sheets: Are savings accounts a gateway to young adults' asset diversification and accumulation

    Citation

    Friedline, T., Johnson, P., & Hughes, R. (2014). Toward healthy balance sheets: Are savings accounts a gateway to young adults' asset diversification and accumulation? Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 96(4), 359-389.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Johnson, Paul, Hughes, Robert

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2014

  17. Toward healthy balance sheets: Are savings accounts a gateway to young adults' asset diversification and accumulation

    Understanding the balance sheets of today’s young adults—particularly the factors that set them on a path to financial security through asset diversification and accumulation—lends some insight into the balance sheets they will have when they are older. This study uses panel data from the Census Bureau’s 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation to investigate the acquisition of a savings account as a gateway to asset diversification and accumulation for young adults. Two avenues were considered: The first emphasized ownership of a diverse portfolio of financial products, and the second emphasized the accumulated value of liquid assets. Almost half of the surveyed young adults owned a savings account (43 percent) and approximately 3 percent acquired a savings account over the course of the panel. (Older, nonwhite, or unemployed participants were significantly less likely to acquire an account.) Those who owned or acquired a savings account also had more diverse asset portfolios. Evidence suggests that young adults who acquire a savings account and diversify their asset portfolios may also accumulate more liquid assets over time, which can be leveraged in the future to strengthen their balance sheets.

    Citation

    Friedline, T., Johnson, P., & Hughes, R. (2014). Toward healthy balance sheets: Are savings accounts a gateway to young adults' asset diversification and accumulation? Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 96(4), 359-389.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Johnson, Paul, Hughes, Robert

    Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2014

  18. Young people are the front lines of financial inclusion: A review of 45 years of research

    Amidst concerns about percentages of households that remain unbanked or underbanked, policy endeavors have emerged to promote financial inclusion by making financial products such as savings accounts readily available. While these endeavors have primarily concentrated on households, young people may be the front lines of financial inclusion because they may be more likely to be banked in young adulthood and beyond when they start off with savings accounts earlier in life. This article addresses young people's financial inclusion by comprehensively reviewing 60 research studies on young people's savings, discussing the role of the family in young people's financial inclusion, discussing financial inclusion from an institutional perspective, presenting policy implications, and identifying gaps in knowledge and opportunities for research. Policies that open savings accounts for young people early in life may be a promising strategy for extending financial inclusion and preventing unbanked or underbanked status later in life.

    Citation

    Friedline, T., & Rauktis, M. (2014). Young people are the front lines of financial inclusion: A review of 45 years of research. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 48(3), 535-602.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Rauktis, Mary

    Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2014

  19. Accumulating assets, debts in young adulthood: Children as potential future investors

    Child Development Accounts (CDA) aim to open savings accounts in childhood as a way to lay a foundation for building assets in young adulthood and beyond. Mainstream banks may be key partners in opening the accounts in which children can build assets. While children may have limited savings to invest initially, they may increasingly invest over time by accumulating assets and debts through mainstream banks. Mainstream banks may benefit from children's increasing investments. This paper uses propensity score weighted, longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its supplements to examine savings, assets, debt, and net worth accumulation of young adults and whether or not they accumulate more when they have savings accounts as children. Young adults accumulate a median of $1000 in savings accounts, $4600 in total assets, $965 in debt (excluding student loans), and $4000 in net worth (excluding student loans). Young adults accumulate more savings and total assets when they have savings accounts as children. They accumulate less debt and more net worth when their households accumulate high net worth.

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    Citation

    Friedline, T., & Song, H. (2013). Accumulating assets, debts in young adulthood: Children as potential future investors. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(9), 1486–1502.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Song, Hyun-a

    Children's Savings Account / Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2013

  20. Assets and educational achievement: Theory and evidence

    This special issue of Economics of Education Review explores the role of savings and asset holding in post-secondary educational achievement. Most college success research has focused on income rather than assets as a predictor, and most college financing policy has focused on tuition support and educational debt, rather than asset accumulation. Nevertheless, there is compelling evidence that household asset holdings, especially savings for education, may have a pronounced positive influence, independent from income, in post-secondary educational success. Moreover, the fundamental reality is that savings plays a role, even though sometimes small, in college financing for most households. For these empirical and practical reasons, it may be important to pay greater attention to savings and asset holding for education in the future than we have in the past. The articles in this volume contribute empirical evidence, theoretical understanding, and potential policy directions regarding saving, asset holding, and educational achievement.

    Authors

    Sherraden, Michael

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  21. Connections with banking institutions and diverse asset portfolios in young adulthood: Children as potential future investors

    A central hypothesis of Child Development Accounts (CDA) suggests that savings accounts in childhood lay a foundation for connecting to mainstream banking institutions and diversifying asset portfolios in young adulthood and beyond. While children may have limited savings to invest initially, they are financial actors who may increasingly invest money into different types of savings products over time. This paper uses propensity score weighted, longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its supplements to examine the types of financial and nonfinancial assets owned by young adults and whether or not they are more likely to own these assets when they have savings accounts as children. The most commonly owned assets in young adulthood included savings accounts (89%), vehicles (54%) and credit cards (51%). Smaller percentages owned stocks (9%), bonds (6%), and homes (8%). On average, young adults owned two to three different assets. Having savings accounts in childhood was associated with being two times more likely to own savings accounts, two times more likely to own credit cards, and four times more likely to own stocks in young adulthood, compared to not having savings accounts in childhood. Young adults' ownership of more total financial assets was also associated with having savings accounts in childhood. Findings provide some supporting evidence of demand for children's savings accounts. Policy endeavors that remove barriers to account ownership may be advantageous for children and mainstream banks.

    Citation

    Friedline, T., & Elliott, W. (2013). Connections with banking institutions and diverse asset portfolios in young adulthood: Children as potential future investors. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(6), 994-1006.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Elliott III, William

    Children's Savings Account / Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2013

  22. Family assets, postsecondary education, and students with disabilities: Building on progress and overcoming challenges

    Students with disabilities are increasingly enrolling and participating in two-year, four-year, and other institutions of higher education. Federal policies and initiatives addressing the educational needs of students and adults with disabilities provided impetus for these increases. For example, mandates within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) have resulted in K-12 public schools increasingly preparing students for postsecondary education. Nonetheless, students with disabilities continue to face financial challenges as well as low educational expectations in their pursuit of postsecondary education. Family assets may provide a framework for addressing these challenges and provide specific implications for policy as well as educational practice.

    Citation

    Cheatham, G., Smith, S. J., Elliott, W., & Friedline, T. (2013). Family assets, postsecondary education, and students with disabilities: Building on progress and overcoming challenges. Children and Youth Services Review 35(7), pp. 1078-1086

    Authors

    Cheatham, Greg, Smith, Sean J., Elliott III, William, Friedline, Terri

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  23. Improving college progress among low- to moderate-income (LMI) young adults: The role of assets

    Little is known about the impact of assets on low- to -moderate-income (LMI) young adults’ college progress. In this study college progress refers to young adults who were currently enrolled in, or who have a degree from, a 2-year college or a 4-year college. Findings from this study suggest LMI young adults with school savings were more than three times as likely to be on course than LMI young adults without any savings or who had savings but had not designated any of it for school. In regard to net worth, we found no evidence to suggest that higher amounts of negative net worth were statistically significant; however, high positive net worth was associated with LMI young adults college progress. Findings suggest policy instruments designed to assist adolescents to save such as universal Child Development Accounts may be a simple and effective strategy for helping to keep LMI young adults on course.

    Citation

    Elliott, W., Constance-Huggins, M.,* and Song, H.* (2013). Improving college progress among low- to moderate-income (LMI) young adults: The role of assets. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 34, 382-399.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Constance-Huggins, Monique, Song, Hyun-a

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  24. Is student debt jeopardizing the short-term financial health of U.S. households.

    In this study, the authors use the Survey of Consumer Finances to determine whether student loans are associated with household net worth. They find that median 2009 net worth ($117,700) for households with no outstanding student loan debt is nearly three times higher than for households with outstanding student loan debt ($42,800). Further, multivariate statistics indicate that households with outstanding student loan debt and a median 2007 net worth of $128,828 incur a loss of about 54 percent of net worth in 2009 compared with households with similar net worth levels but no student loan debt over the same period. The main policy implication of this study is that outstanding student debt may jeopardize the short-run financial health of households. However, this topic is complex and more research is needed before suggesting policy prescriptions.

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    Citation

    Elliott, W., & Nam, I. (2013). Is student debt jeopardizing the short-term financial health of U.S. households. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Review, 95(5), 1-20.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Nam, Ilsung

    College Debt Journal Article Year 2013

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

    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.

    Citation

    Lewis, M., Cramer, R., Elliott, W., and Spraque, A. (2013). Policies to promote economic stability, asset building, and child development. Children and Youth Services Review, 36, 15-21.

    Authors

    Lewis, Melinda, Cramer, Reid, Elliott III, William, Sprague, Aleta

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2013