There is a growing consensus that all people in the world— the poor as well as the rich, people from all countries, people from all backgrounds and characteristics — should be included in saving and asset-building opportunities. The reasons for this growing consensus are both moral and practical. The moral reasoning is that people should have a fair chance, an opportunity to develop their capacities to lead a stable and satisfying life. The practical reasoning is that we, as individuals, communities, and societies, are all better off when people accumulate assets, invest in themselves and their children, and become more productive and engaged in society and the global economy. If we address such inequalities through the underlying philosophy that everyone ought to be included and receive similar life opportunities, then access to public subsidies and financial services should also be equitable and not neglectful of people at the bottom of the economic strata. As demonstrated throughout the symposium, efforts to increase financial inclusion and opportunities for asset building are proliferating around the world. It is through creativity and innovation in these two fields — and their increasing cross-fertilization — that we will find new solutions with the potential of reversing past exclusions.
Project: Global Assets Project
Zimmerman, J., Boshara, R., Sherraden, M., Zou, L., McKee, K., Meek-Wohl, L., & Feldman, A. (2008). Global savings, assets and financial inclusion: Lessons, challenges and directions (GAP Report No. 08-22). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.