- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of The Economics of Poverty
- Introduction and Overview
- The Alleviation of Poverty: How Far Have We Come?
- Consumption and Income Poverty in the United States
- Poverty Lines across the World
- Theories of Poverty: Traditional Explanations and New Directions
- Poverty and the Labor Market
- Employment in Black Urban Labor Markets: Problems and Solutions
- Low-Skilled Immigrants and the US Labor Market
- Poverty and Low Earnings in the Developing World
- Antipoverty Programs for Poor Children and Families
- Education and the Poor
- Poverty, Health, and Healthcare
- Geographical Price Variation, Housing Assistance, and Poverty
- Distributions in Motion: Economic Growth, Inequality, and Poverty Dynamics
- Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?
- Poverty Transitions
- Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Poverty
- Obesity, Poverty, and the Ability to Pay for Calories
- Environmental Justice: Do Poor and Minority Populations Face More Hazards?
- Female Trust in Government and Gender Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Crime, Incarceration, and Poverty
- Payday Lending: New Research and the Big Question
- An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Antipoverty Programs in the United States
- Are Economists in Over Their Heads?
- Antipoverty Policy: The Role of Individualist and Structural Perspectives
- A New Statistic: The US Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines whether poverty is incompatible with asset accumulation. It considers whether the poor can and do save and whether they are able to build up assets over time. It presents data from household surveys, as well as from programs targeted at helping families accumulate assets. Presenting and evaluating the state of knowledge provides a new lens on whether the current income-based safety net could better serve poor families by having an asset-building component. The conventional thinking is that families that are income-poor cannot save. The article shows that this thinking is inaccurate; poverty does not have to be incompatible with asset accumulation.
Signe-Mary McKernan is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute
Caroline Ratcliffe is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.
Trina Williams Shanks is an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan
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