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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Grinstein-Weiss, Michal; Sherraden, Michael; Gale, William G.; Rohe, William M.; Schreiner, Mark; Key, Clinton
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    We examine the long-term effects of a 1998-2003 randomized experiment in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Individual Development Accounts that offered low-income households 2:1 matching funds for housing down payments. Prior work shows that, among households who rented in 1998, homeownership rates increased more through 2003 in the treatment group than for controls. We show that control group renters caught up rapidly with the treatment group after the experiment ended. As of 2009, the program had an economically small and statistically insignificant effect on homeownership rates, the number of years respondents owned homes, home equity, and foreclosure activity among baseline renters. (author abstract)

    We examine the long-term effects of a 1998-2003 randomized experiment in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Individual Development Accounts that offered low-income households 2:1 matching funds for housing down payments. Prior work shows that, among households who rented in 1998, homeownership rates increased more through 2003 in the treatment group than for controls. We show that control group renters caught up rapidly with the treatment group after the experiment ended. As of 2009, the program had an economically small and statistically insignificant effect on homeownership rates, the number of years respondents owned homes, home equity, and foreclosure activity among baseline renters. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Elliot III, William
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    “Creating a Financial Stake in College” is a four-part series of reports that focuses on the relationship between children’s savings and improving college success. This series examines: (1) why policymakers should care about savings, (2) the relationship between inequality and bank account ownership, (3) the connections between savings and college attendance, and (4) recommendations to refine children’s savings account proposals. This series of reports presents evidence from a set of empirical studies conducted by Elliott and colleagues on children’s savings research, with an emphasis on low-income children, relevant to large-scale policy proposals.

    Report II presents evidence that structural inequalities have created an unequal playing field for low-income families and their children to build assets. Children in families with higher incomes and greater assets are more likely to have relationships with banks and access to other institutional structures that support savings (Beverly & Sherraden, 1999; Sherraden, 1991). Because children’s savings is an important...

    “Creating a Financial Stake in College” is a four-part series of reports that focuses on the relationship between children’s savings and improving college success. This series examines: (1) why policymakers should care about savings, (2) the relationship between inequality and bank account ownership, (3) the connections between savings and college attendance, and (4) recommendations to refine children’s savings account proposals. This series of reports presents evidence from a set of empirical studies conducted by Elliott and colleagues on children’s savings research, with an emphasis on low-income children, relevant to large-scale policy proposals.

    Report II presents evidence that structural inequalities have created an unequal playing field for low-income families and their children to build assets. Children in families with higher incomes and greater assets are more likely to have relationships with banks and access to other institutional structures that support savings (Beverly & Sherraden, 1999; Sherraden, 1991). Because children’s savings is an important predictor of children’s educational outcomes (e.g., Elliott, 2011; Elliott & Beverly, 2011a, b), inequity in institutionalized opportunities to save and accumulate wealth among children may weaken the effectiveness of the education institution to act as the “great equalizer” in society. Thus, children’s savings accounts must be carefully structured to address these inequities for children from low-income families. An institutional theory of savings perspective is helpful to identify the types of structures and mechanisms that promote savings, some of which may be particularly relevant to an examination of how children learn to interact with their finances. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rothwell, David; Sultana, Nahid
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Understanding how low-income households manage their finances is critical to designing effective antipoverty interventions. This study used data from a 2008 follow-up survey of 326 low-income households in Hawaii who participated in an Individual Development Account (IDA) intervention from 1999 to 2005. Self-reported cash flow (five items) and savings (four items) practices were explored using latent class analysis. Three latent classes were produced: Class 3 managed cash flows and saved (n = 166; 51%); Class 2 managed cash flows but did not save (n = 73; 22%); and Class 1 struggled to manage cash flows and save (n = 89; 27%). Using ordinal regression, psychological sense of mastery was positively and significantly (p < .01) related to being in a higher class membership (b = .14; OR = 1.15). IDA participation had no association with latent classification. The key finding is the heterogeneity among low-income financial management practices and the importance of providing individualized services. Future longitudinal research is needed to understand how IDA participation affects...

    Understanding how low-income households manage their finances is critical to designing effective antipoverty interventions. This study used data from a 2008 follow-up survey of 326 low-income households in Hawaii who participated in an Individual Development Account (IDA) intervention from 1999 to 2005. Self-reported cash flow (five items) and savings (four items) practices were explored using latent class analysis. Three latent classes were produced: Class 3 managed cash flows and saved (n = 166; 51%); Class 2 managed cash flows but did not save (n = 73; 22%); and Class 1 struggled to manage cash flows and save (n = 89; 27%). Using ordinal regression, psychological sense of mastery was positively and significantly (p < .01) related to being in a higher class membership (b = .14; OR = 1.15). IDA participation had no association with latent classification. The key finding is the heterogeneity among low-income financial management practices and the importance of providing individualized services. Future longitudinal research is needed to understand how IDA participation affects financial practices in the short term and long term. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zimmerman, Jamie M.; Holmes, Jamie; DeGiovanni, Frank; Jackelen, Henry; Sivakumaran, Subathirai ; Sobhani, Sahba; McHale, Brandee; Moury, Yves
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2010

    Breakthroughs in mobile banking, retail banking, debit cards, and biometric identification have altered the traditional relationship between social protection and financial inclusion goals. Emerging are new, co-dependent, and mutually-reinforcing opportunities in which leveraging social transfers and expanding financial access for the poor—including, critically, the ability to save—go hand in hand. The increasing use of new delivery mechanisms for social transfers reveals the potential for more efficient and effective social protection policies for the world’s poor. Exactly how the changing relationship between financial inclusion and social protection goals will evolve is yet to be determined. This primer attempts to outline the playing field on which it will evolve. (author abstract)

    Breakthroughs in mobile banking, retail banking, debit cards, and biometric identification have altered the traditional relationship between social protection and financial inclusion goals. Emerging are new, co-dependent, and mutually-reinforcing opportunities in which leveraging social transfers and expanding financial access for the poor—including, critically, the ability to save—go hand in hand. The increasing use of new delivery mechanisms for social transfers reveals the potential for more efficient and effective social protection policies for the world’s poor. Exactly how the changing relationship between financial inclusion and social protection goals will evolve is yet to be determined. This primer attempts to outline the playing field on which it will evolve. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: New America Foundation
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    There is an increasing, and arguably inevitable, overlap between the financial inclusion and social protection fields. The success of conditional cash transfers (CCTs)—antipoverty social policy programs that direct funds toward qualified households or individuals based on a conditional behavior, such as children’s school attendance—has resulted in substantial investment and experimentation.

    As these programs have expanded around the world, so too has interest in an intriguing new idea: linking these programs to savings accounts, thus offering a new pathway to both financial inclusion and asset building, and ultimately to poverty reduction.

    Because of their cash-based structure, account-based social protection programs could be leveraged to accelerate financial inclusion for the poorest. Due to their behavioral impacts, account-based CCTs to the poor may achieve even greater welfare benefits and poverty reduction than unconditional transfers if they can influence savings behavior and asset building. Meanwhile, experts suggest that within the decade, technological...

    There is an increasing, and arguably inevitable, overlap between the financial inclusion and social protection fields. The success of conditional cash transfers (CCTs)—antipoverty social policy programs that direct funds toward qualified households or individuals based on a conditional behavior, such as children’s school attendance—has resulted in substantial investment and experimentation.

    As these programs have expanded around the world, so too has interest in an intriguing new idea: linking these programs to savings accounts, thus offering a new pathway to both financial inclusion and asset building, and ultimately to poverty reduction.

    Because of their cash-based structure, account-based social protection programs could be leveraged to accelerate financial inclusion for the poorest. Due to their behavioral impacts, account-based CCTs to the poor may achieve even greater welfare benefits and poverty reduction than unconditional transfers if they can influence savings behavior and asset building. Meanwhile, experts suggest that within the decade, technological breakthroughs will make financial access to the majority of the world’s currently unbanked population possible.

    For two days in November 2010, the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Citi Foundation, and Proyecto Capital convened 100 leading practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and funders from the financial-inclusion and social-protection fields at a Global Colloquium on Savings-Linked CCTs. The purpose of this first-of-its-kind colloquium was to inform strategies to creatively and constructively deepen and strengthen dialogue, analysis, experimentation, and, ultimately, innovation at the intersection of savings products, behaviors, and social-protection payments.

    At the colloquium and throughout this document, we used the term “savings-linked CCTs” to discuss a wide range of programs and policies where the potential for savings and CCTs overlap. By narrow definition, a saving-linked CCT is any conditional cash transfer program that has the potential to enable formal savings, whether by basic account or by providing some linkage between the recipient and the financial system. However, more “intentional” savings-linked CCT models go beyond a basic enabling of savings to explicitly encouraging formal savings behavior, such as by providing full-service accounts, matches, bonuses, or other savings incentives.

    The colloquium was organized around three goals. First, we sought to harness the experience and knowledge of a diverse group of the top experts from the financial inclusion and social protection fields to bring cohesion and distill initial best practices in this emerging body of work. Second, we aimed to build bridges between the leaders in the two fields so that they could more effectively achieve their mutual goals together. Third, we hoped colloquium discussions and results would inform future directions in participants’ overlapping fields on how best to create and study linkages between cash transfer programs and bank accounts, particularly savings accounts, around the world.

    This report provides a glimpse into the wealth of information— trends and insights, lessons and challenges, new ideas and next steps—provided so candidly and generously by participants at the colloquium in New York. (author abstract)

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