Asset Building Financial Inclusion Perspectives & Testimonies

Asset Based Policies for the Poor: A View From the Left

In this brief paper, I offer some thoughts on this question, from a left-leaning perspective. When most advocates for low-income families tick off their policy solutions, Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s), for example, are either unmentioned or an afterthought. Why is that? The next section examines two other reasons why asset-based policies too often get short shrift: the immediacy and magnitude problems. Finally, I briefly examine the political economy of asset based policies for the poor.

Project: Inclusion in Asset Building: Research and Policy Symposium


Bernstein, J. (2000, September). Asset based policies for the poor: A view from the left (CSD Perspective No. 00-29). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.