Don't Miss These Upcoming Asset-Building Presentations

Blog Post
Jan. 3, 2012

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.


Asset-Building in the U.S.

Creating Space: Asset Building for Sustainable Community Among Vietnamese Americans In New Orleans, a Case Study (#46 Poster Presentation)*

Friday, January 13th at 6:00pm in Independence F-I, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Brian Trung Lam, PhD, Associate Professor, California State University, Long Beach

On August 29th, 2005, Katrina swept through the gulf coast and left a path of destruction which has changed the dynamic of a Vietnamese ethnic enclave community in New Orleans East. The current study focuses on (1) the geographical access to community resources that have been empirically linked to community wellbeing and (2) effort in creating and protecting space for sustainable community.The finding suggests that community can be revitalized and sustained by creating spaces for bonding and bridging social capitals. These spaces serve as foundation for long term goals of community wellbeing, and for discussion of challenges in intra and inter-groups interaction.

Family Wealth and College Attendance: Borrowing Constraints or Scholastic Ability? (#16868)

Saturday, January 14th at 10:00am in Arlington, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Minseop Kim, PhD Student, University of Pennsylvania


This study aims to examine how various forms of family wealth affect college attendance. Family wealth may have an effect on educational attainment over and above the effect of family income that may play a pivotal role in children's future socio-economic status. This study empirically examines a path model in which three forms of family wealth (liquid assets, illiquid assets, and debt) are assumed to have a direct effect on college attendance, and an indirect effect via SAT performance, which is one of the most important criteria in college admission.

Exploring the Potential of Assets to Increase Human Capital Using Randomized Experiments (#154)

Saturday, January 14th at 4:30pm in Independence C, Grand Hyatt Washington
Symposium Organizer: Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Discussant: Ray Boshara, PhD, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Asset building programs, such as individual development accounts (IDAs), are first and foremost, intended to help people increase their financial security through building long-term assets. This panel presents evidence from three randomized control trials (RCTs) testing the impact of matched savings programs on human capital outcomes. 

  • Long-Term Impact of Individual Development Accounts on Education: Evidence from a Longitudinal Randomized Experiement (#16504)
Presenter: Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Learn$Ave: A Demonstration Project of Individual Development Accounts for Human Capital Acquisition in Canada (#16507)
Presenter: Barbara Gosse, Social and Enterprise Development Innovations

  • Socioeconomic Status and Participant Savings in Child Development Accounts: Early Evidence from SEED for Oklahoma Kids (#16510)
Presenter: Youngmi Kim, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University

Are Tax-Time Savings Sustainable? Findings From the SaveNYC Evaluation (#16213)

Sunday, January 15th from 9:15am in Independence D, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Jenna Tucker, MSW, Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Over the last two decades, asset building interventions have grown increasingly popular as ways to help low-income individuals begin to climb the ladder out of poverty. Individual development accounts (IDAs), which match participants' savings when they are used for asset investments like home purchase, are the classic asset building intervention. One such intervention is tax-time savings accounts, which promote savings by devoting a portion of the tax refund of a low-income filer to a savings account. These interventions are based on the ideas that tax refunds are one of the largest single payments low-income individuals receive all year, and that it is easier to set aside portions of such windfalls than it is to set aside portions of regular paychecks. This study tests the effects of such an intervention on the real savings and the perceptions of financial security of participants.

Asset Accumulation Trajectories Among Families with Young Children: Predictors and Patterns of Growth (#17307)

Sunday, January 15th at 10:45am in Farragut Square, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Vernon Loke, PhD, Assistant Professor, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youths 1979 Mother and Child datasets from 1987 to 2000, this paper explores and describes the different asset accumulation trajectories of families with young children. It tracks young families with children born in 1986 or 1987 over 13 years, from 1987 when the mothers are between the ages of 23 to 30, to year 2000 when they are between the ages of 36 to 43.

International Asset-Building

Understanding Individual, Institutional, and Environmental Determinants of Savings and Asset Accumulation Globally: Examples From Uganda, United States, China, and Ghana (#192)

Sunday, January 15th at 10:45am in Farragut Square, Grand Hyatt Washington
Symposium Organizer: Gina Chowa, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Saving and asset building are of interest to many professions. As a result examining and explaining the determinants of saving and asset building has received remarkable attention. This symposium aims to present studies from Uganda, China, Ghana and United States that use a range of models of determinants of saving and asset accumulation. These include individual and family (economic and psychology), environmental (social class), and institutional and programmatic (economics and sociology).

  • Individual and Institutional Determinants of Saving and Asset Building in Masindi, Uganda: Evidence from AssetsAfrica (#17304)
          Presenter: Rainier D. Masa, MSWUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Asset Accumulation Trajectories Among Families with Young Children: Predictors and Patterns of Growth (#17307)
          Presenter: Vernon Loke, PhD, Eastern Washington University

  • The Hubuti Model: An Asset-Based Innovation for Inclusive Growth in China (#17312)
          Presenter: Jin Huang, MSW, Washington University in Saint Louis

  • Financial Capability for Youth in Ghana: Understanding the Developmental and Cultural Validity of Asset Building Inquiry in a Developing Country (#17313)
          Presenter: Mathieu R. Despard, MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Home Ownership 

The Roles of Housing Instability On Parent-Child Interactions (#16524)

Thursday, January 12th at 4:00pm in Independence D, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Jung Min Park, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This study examines to what extent homelessness is associated with parenting behaviors and stress and whether families who are unstably housed but are not homeless (e.g., doubled-up families) differ from homeless families in their parent-child interactions.

Latino Homeownership: Has It Become Una Pesadilla Americana? (#17338)

Saturday, January 14th at 9:00am in Laffayette Park, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Anna M. Santiago, PhD, Case Western Reserve University

Since the 1990s, federal housing policies expanded the opportunities available to low-income families, significantly increasing the numbers of Latino homeowners from 45% in 2000 to 50% in 2007. However, the ongoing economic and housing crises of the past few years have seen Latino homeownership rates fall below 47% by the end of 2010. We examine the extent to which program participation was associated with (1) initial and current housing burden; (2) the terms and conditions of original mortgage loans; (3) the terms and conditions of subsequent refinancing; (4) the duration of homeownership; (5) the accumulation of nonhousing debt; and (6) foreclosures.

Implications of IDA Housing Program for the Socio-Economically Disadvantaged  (#125 Poster Presentation)

Saturday, January 14th at 6:15pm in Independence F-I, Grand Hyatt Washingon
Presenter: Kyeong Mo Kim, MSW, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland at Baltimore

Large proportions of households find it very challenging to own a house due to limited economic resources, access to credit market, and a low level of financial information. Due to difficulties to follow up previous IDAs participants, there is little study on whether program participants who purchased home through IDAs housing program still retain the property. To address this research gap, this study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a housing program affiliated with IDAs by providing empirical evidence that identifies significant factors associated with successful program outcomes.

Debt & Material Hardship

Is Debt the New Safety Net? Examining the Relationship between Personal Debt and Social Policy (#41 Roundtable Discussion)

Friday, January 13th at 8:00am in Independence D, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: MaryE. A. Caplan, MSW, University of California, Berkeley

During the past thirty years in the United States, household consumption has outpaced income in the United States, with the bottom 60% of households spending all or most of their income on expenses of daily living. This roundtable will provide an opportunity to explore the associations between recent trends in U.S. social policy and levels of personal debt, with a focus on the implications of this relationship on the poorest Americans.The presenter will pose the following questions for examination: How does personal debt act as a safety net during market shocks? How might welfare spending and the nature of welfare programs act as a moderating effect on the relationship between personal debt and market shocks? 

The Effects of Participation In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program On the Material Hardship of Low-Income Families with Children (#16943)

Friday, January 13th at 3:00pm in Wilson, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: H. Luke Shaefer, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

This study examines the effects of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on measures of the non-food material hardship of low-income families with children. NAP participation allows families to reallocate resources otherwise directed toward food to other essential expenses, broadly affecting family well-being. SNAP's prominence among means-tested programs suggests it should be evaluated using a broader set of material hardship outcomes than previously done.

Financial Capability for Social Workers

Strengthening Social Workers' Capability to Improve Clients Financial Capability and Economic Wellbeing: An Evaluation Study (#65 Poster Presentation)

Friday, January 13th at 6:00pm in Independence F-I, Grand Hyatt Washington
PresenterJodi M. Jacobson, PhD, LCSW-C, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland at Baltimore

Given the lack of professional training and education in financial capability and wellbeing, it is important that future research assess the capacity of social workers to meet the needs of vulnerable clients and communities in a more holistic manner that must include their financial status and potential to improve their quality of life. The authors present data from a pilot study evaluating outcomes from a social work continuing education training, titled, Financial Stability for Clients.

Why Social Workers Should Consider a Negative Income Tax (#17026)

Saturday, January 15th at 9:45am in Independence D, Grand Hyatt Washington
Presenter: Jessica Wiederspan, MSW, Doctoral Candidate, University of Michigan

A Negative Income Tax (NIT) is a guaranteed income policy where families under a certain income receive a base level of income support from the government. Payment decreases as income rises, and eventually stops when income reaches a certain level. The purpose of this study is to examine if and how the NIT could replace most existing means-tested programs and provide greater support to poor families.