Article

Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?

Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe and Trina Williams Shanks

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195393781
Published online December 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195393781.013.0015

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?

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  • Health, Education, and Welfare
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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.

Keywords: poor; savings; asset accumulation; families; income-poor

Article.  13274 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare ; Microeconomics

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