Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Assets for Independence: Asset Building for and by Young People

Young people need assets to make the transition to adulthood. This article summarizes the four preceding articles on youth and saving, identifies policy and program implications, and suggests directions for future research. It is clear that saving is difficult for many people and throughout the life course. Efforts to help young people accumulate assets might encourage saving by parents, encourage saving by youth, or provide subsidies. The latter strategy is most likely to reduce inequities associated with socioeconomic status. These strategies do not have to be pursued in isolation, and ongoing conversations across disciplines and between scholars and practitioners could yield useful insight. In addition, research on existing asset-building initiatives that combine two or more of these strategies will provide important lessons for policy and program development.

This paper was presented during the Assets and Education Symposium, a March 2012 conference cosponsored by the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and CSD. The symposium was convened to explore the role of savings and asset holding in post-secondary educational achievement. Many of the original conference papers are accessible in the center’s online collection and were subsequently developed for publication in Assets and Educational Attainment: Theory and Evidence, a special issue of Economics of Education Review.

Subsequent publication: Beverly, S. G. (2013). Asset building for and by young people. Economics of Education Review, 33, 52–57. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.07.008

Project: College Success


Beverly, S. (2012). Assets for independence: Asset building for and by young people (CSD Working Paper No. 12-27). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.