Displaying all posts by Barbara Kiviat
July 20, 2012
In 2005, a group of researchers at the University of Michigan set out to understand how people in low- and moderate-income households think about and use financial services. The Detroit Area Household Financial Services (DAHFS) study, headed by law professor and two-time Treasury official Michael Barr, included interviews with more than 1,000 randomly sampled residents of the Detroit metro area....
July 19, 2012
May 14, 2012
It’s been 21 years since the publication of Michael Sherraden’s Assets and the Poor, the book that put asset poverty on the U.S. policymaking map. That was cause for celebration last week in Washington D.C., where the New American Foundation hosted a symposium to talk about what more might be done to help Americans—particularly low-income and minority ones—build savings and other assets. The...
January 9, 2012
Expanding financial access can be a beautiful thing, but how people understand and make use of financial tools deeply matters, too. Acknowledging the importance of financial literacy has become quite the trend in microfinance circles, even if folks aren’t entirely sure of how best to approach the subject.
Jonathan Morduch and I recently wrote a white paper for the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation about the...
September 15, 2011
U.S. poverty-watchers have long expected another uptick in the poverty rate, and on Tuesday the Census put numbers to that (correct) expectation: 46.2 million Americans fell below the federal poverty line in 2010, a full 15.1% of the population. That marks the third annual increase in the poverty rate. In 2009, 14.3% of Americans were in poverty; in 2008, 13.2% were.
For a real...