PB AF 578
Explores assets and finances for low income families primarily in the United States. Identifies programs and policies targeted toward asset building and looks at evidence of their efficacy. Uses a multi-disciplinary perspective to examine the economic, social, and political contexts for these policies.
A new generation of social policy analysts and practitioners argue that building assets rather than income is the key to helping low income families prosper economically and socially. Governments and nonprofits have responded by developing new programs and retooling or repackaging old programs to support home ownership, education, and microenterprise.
This course will explore assets and finances for low income families primarily in the US. We will identify programs and policies targeted toward asset building and look at evidence of their efficacy. Using a multi-disciplinary perspective, we will examine the economic, social, and political contexts for these policies.
Student learning goals
How families make financial and asset decisions
Policies to build assets (individual development accounts, tax credits, microfinance)
Financial literacy and financial services
Housing as a family asset
Small business development
Education as asset
General method of instruction
Combination of class discussion, small group discussion, and lecture.
Previous study of the public policy process.
Class assignments and grading
The requirements for this class will be class participation and presentation, two short papers (3-5 pages), and one longer paper on an issue of your choice (10-15 pages).