At CSD, financial inclusion
projects fall into four categories: Inclusion in Asset Building, Global Asset
Building, Financial Capability, and Financial Behaviors.
The center defines assets as accumulated resources invested for social and economic development. These investments can be in human or social capital, such as education, or tangible assets, such as homeownership, small business development and retirement savings. CSD informs inclusive asset-building policy by designing, implementing, and studying large-scale demonstrations of asset-building policy strategies, such as the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment, which uses a 529 college savings plan structure. Click here to learn more.
CSD and the New America Foundation launched the Global Assets Project in 2006 to inform and promote asset-building policies and programs worldwide. The goal of "an account for every child on the planet," first articulated by CSD, appears in a growing number of international policy agendas. The Global Assets Project examines successes and lessons from asset-building policies and programs at an international level, testing their effectiveness, creating networks of scholars and policymakers, building the global knowledge base, promoting meetings and information sharing, and informing new policies. Click here to learn more.
In this area of work, CSD is focused on combining access and abilities. The initiative on Financial Capability & Asset Building (FCAB) is a leading example. FCAB aims to address the wide gap in professional training of social workers and other human service practitioners who serve low- and moderate-income households. In this way, CSD intends indirectly to increase financial capability among households who do not currently benefit from professional financial advice and counseling. Click here to learn more.
The center’s work in Financial Behaviors currently focuses on two major research studies. Refund to Savings (R2S) builds saving-behavior experiments into Intuit's TurboTax Free File Online product, which is available to low- and moderate-income households. An extension of R2S is a study of myRA (My Retirement Accounts). The project “myRA at Tax Time” will investigate combinations of messages and interest in opening myRA accounts during the tax filing process. A second major study in financial behaviors is the Employer-based Financial Wellness Programs project, which will evaluate the impact of an employer-based financial wellness program, testing especially a low-dollar credit product. Click here to learn more.