Asset Building Books & Chapters Financial Inclusion

Assets and the Social Investment State

In this chapter, Michael Sherraden suggests that welfare policy changes can be understood as a shift away from a welfare state to a social investment state, where the overarching role of government is to build up people’s capacity. Asset building, Sherraden contends, will inevitably play a central role in this shift. How can an asset-based approach be made to work for everyone? Sherraden outlines his vision for a comprehensive and coherent structure of individual accounts, a vision that integrates various types of asset accounts (for retirement, education and those at different stages of the life cycle) into a single progressive multi-purpose system. Above all it is a vision that is inclusive and one that leaves no one behind.


Sherraden, M. (2003a). Assets and the social investment state. In W. Paxton (Ed.), Equal shares? Building a progressive and coherent asset-based welfare policy (pp. 28–41). London: IPPR.