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Savings & Ownership Caucus

Don't Miss These Upcoming Asset-Building Presentations

January 3, 2012
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If you live or work in the Washington, D.C. / Virginia / Maryland area and are interested in asset-building, you are in for a treat. During January 11-15, 2012, approximately 20 individual research papers and posters focusing on asset-building research will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). This research is the latest and greatest from some of the leading researchers in the asset-building field, including Gina Chowa, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Vernon Loke, Jin Huang, and Youngmi Kim. Topics include savings at tax time, financial capability of youth in international settings, home ownership and housing stability, and debt and asset accumulation. The conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Presentations that are "don't miss" are listed below. Click on the number at the end of the titled presentation for a direct link to the complete abstract.

Summarizing the Research: Asset Effects for Children with Disabilities

December 23, 2011
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During one of our recent events, Sheldon Garon of Princeton University and Ray Boshara of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis referred to the weak household balance sheet as one of the core economic challenges of our time, suggesting that households must focus on asset-building rather than rely on credit and debt.

Summarizing the Research: Evidence from a Statewide Randomized Experiment Testing CDA Policy

October 18, 2011
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A growing number of studies examine the relationships between children’s savings accounts and their educational and financial outcomes. (Please see the Center for Social Development’s website or read this review article for more information on the studies examining these relationships). Consistently, children who have savings accounts early in life have significantly better educational and financial outcomes compared to children who do not have savings accounts early in life. These findings hold true even after taking into consideration things like academic achievement, household income, and household net worth.

Savings and Economic Empowerment Program Underway for Orphaned Youth in Uganda

September 21, 2011

Fred Ssewamala, Associate Professor at Columbia University, YouthSave member, and Global Assets Project Senior Fellow, has received a $3.34M grant for a family-based economic empowerment program for AIDS-orphaned and vulnerable youth (11-14) called, Bridges to the Future.

Summarizing the Research: Children's Savings Intervention for Raising College Attendance

September 21, 2011
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A growing number of research studies investigate the association between children's savings and their educational outcomes, findings which suggest providing children with savings accounts at an early age may be a way to improve their educational outcomes. A recent press release summarizes these research studies, many of which have been conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas and the Center for Social Development. Research also suggests children’s college-bound identities—whether or not they expect to graduate from college—are also associated with children’s educational outcomes. Along these lines, it may be useful to know whether interventions that combine savings plus college-bound identity are best for improving college attendance. A new study has recently been released on the Center for Social Development's website that addresses this very question. This post summarizes findings from William Elliott and colleagues’ paper, Toward a Children's Savings and College-Bound Identity Intervention for Raising College Attendance Rates. Results are forthcoming in the journal Sociology Mind

Save the Savings Bond

August 19, 2011
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Former IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg and Peter Tufano, formerly of Harvard Business School but now Dean of the Saïd Business School at Oxford University, have a terrific op-ed at the New York Times today on the issues around the purchase of paper savings bonds.

Have you heard of the Young Americans Bank?

August 5, 2011
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The First FDIC-Insured Bank Designed just for Young People Turns 24 Years Old

The research on young people’s savings points to early access to basic financial services to improve young people’s life outcomes, including things like improved financial and educational outcomes. Just to give a few examples, research by William Elliott and colleagues finds that young people who have their own savings accounts are significantly more likely to attend and graduate from college. Some of my own research finds that young people are significantly more likely to continue saving later in life when they have access to savings accounts early in life. Given the apparent importance of young people’s savings for improving their life outcomes, financial institutions have a role to play in including young people in basic financial services.

Michael Gerson to Congress "You Should Listen to New America."

July 29, 2011

Michael Gerson has an op-ed in the Post today decrying the way that the debt ceiling debate has crowded out discussion of more important topics, namely the recent Pew Research Center report on rising wealth inequality in the US.

While leveling both barrels at Congress, Mr. Gerson takes time out to say a few kind words about our work:

Bipartisan House Members Protest End of Savings Bond Sales

July 28, 2011

A bipartisan group of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Geithner today. The letter shows their concern over Treasury's announced plan to eliminate over-the-counter sales of paper savings bonds. The group is led by Reps. Richard Neal (D-MA) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and includes Reps. Petri, Tsongas and Pitts, all Co-Chairs of the Congressional Savings and Ownership Caucus. The key issues with the new policy:

The Great Recession Worsens the Racial Wealth Gap

July 26, 2011
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A report released today by the Pew Research Center finds that the Great Recession has worsened an already-widening gap in net worth between Whites, Latinos, and Blacks. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), researchers found that between 2005 and 2009, in percentage terms, “inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.”

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