Asset-building policy is a complementary alternative to income replacement policies that simply subsidize short-term consumption (Sherraden, 1991). This approach may seem novel, but the Homestead Act provides historical precedent for federal involvement in promoting asset development for individuals. This one policy allowed 1.5 million households to receive 246 million acres of land. More importantly, it provided a tangible asset that could also benefit future generations.
Subsequent publication: Williams, T. R. (2003). Asset-building policy as a response to wealth inequality: Drawing implications from the Homestead Act of 1862. Social Development Issues, 25, 47–58.
Project: Inclusion in Asset Building: Research and Policy Symposium
Williams, T. R. (2003). Asset-building policy as a response to wealth inequality: Drawing implications from the Homestead Act (CSD Working Paper No. 03-05). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.