Access, Assets and Poverty

Jointly sponsored by the National Poverty Center, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan and the Ford Foundation.

October 11-12 , 2007
Washington, DC.

Conference main page | Agenda and papers


Conference agenda (download pdf) pdf

Proposed conference papers

Thursday, October 11


Continental breakfast


Rebecca Blank, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and Co-director, NPC, University of Michigan

Michael Barr, Law School, University of Michigan

Melissa Pardue, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Human Services Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ASPE


"A Demographic Portrait of Asset-holdings Among Low-Income Families and Individuals."
John Karl Scholz, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ananth Seshadri, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. View Scholz and Seshadri’s presentation.

Discussant: Jeffrey Liebman, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


"Financial Services Policy and Usage Among Low-Income Households."
Michael Barr, Law School, University of Michigan. View Barr’s presentation.

Discussant: Ngina Chiteji, Howard University Institute on Race and Wealth and Skidmore College




"Can Innovations in Financial Services Make Them More Widely Available to Low-Income Households?"
Peter Tufano, Business School, Harvard University and Daniel Schneider, Department of Sociology, Princeton University. View Tufano and Schneider’s presentation.

Discussant: Jeffrey Kling, Brookings Institution. View Kling’s presentation.


"IDAs and Asset-Building Strategies."
Michael Sherraden, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University. View Sherraden’s presentation.

Discussant: William Gale, Brookings Institution. View Gale’s presentation.




Panel Discussion: What should we be doing to expand financial services to lower-income households?


  • Steve Brobeck, Consumer Federation of America
  • Mark Willis, JPMorgan Chase
  • Patience Singleton, House Committee on Financial Services
  • Sheila Maith, Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Friday, October 12


Continental Breakfast


"Savings Policy & Household Decision-making in Low-Income Households."
Sendhil Mullainathan, Department of Economics, Harvard University and Eldar Shafir, Department of Psychology, Princeton University. View Mullainathan and Shafir’s presentation.

Discussant: Christopher Carroll, Department of Economics, The Johns Hopkins University. View Carroll’s presentation.


"What Can We Learn about Financial Services for Low-Income Populations from Developing Countries?"
Jonathan Morduch, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University and Daryl Collins, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. View Collins and Morduch’s presentation.

Discussant: Dean Karlan, Department of Economics, Yale University.




"Immigrants’ Access to Financial Services & Asset Accumulation."
Anna Paulson, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Una Okonkwo Osili, Department of Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. View Osili and Paulson’s presentation.

Discussant: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, Department of Economics, San Diego State University. View Amuedo-Dorante’s presentation.


Lunch & Keynote Speaker

Sheila Bair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


"Homeownership: America’s Dream?"
Raphael Bostic, School of Policy, Planning and Development, University of Southern California and KwanOk Lee, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California. View Bostic and Lee’s presentation.

Discussant: Edgar Olsen, Department of Economics, University of Virginia


"Surveying the Risks of Credit Card Debt."
Ronald Mann, Columbia Law School. View Mann’s presentation.

Discussant: Adair Morse, University of Chicago. View Morse’s presentation.


Final discussion: Key conclusions from the conference