2014 News

New book explores the rise of asset building

More than two decades after Michael Sherraden, PhD, wrote Assets and the Poor – introducing asset building as a new social policy framework – that idea has taken off in numerous directions. 

A new book edited by Reid Cramer, PhD, New America Foundation and Trina R. Williams Shanks, PhD, of the University of Michigan, explores the rise of asset building and its effect on social policy. The Assets Perspective contains papers from the “Assets @ 21” conference in 2012, hosted by New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Several CSD faculty associates, including Williams Shanks, as well as other collaborators are chapter authors for The Assets Perspective. Chapters such as “Transformation of Anti-Poverty Policies and Programs” by Williams Shanks, “The Promises and Pitfalls of Homeownership” by Carolina Reid, PhD, of the University of California at Berkeley, “Solving the Paradox of High College Expectations: The Role of Children’s Savings Accounts” by William Elliott III, PhD, of the University of Kansas, “Making Tax Time the Financial Management Moment” by David Rothstein of Neighboring Housing Services of Greater Cleveland and Rachel Black of New America Foundation, and a concluding chapter, “Asset Building Research and Policy: Pathways, Progress, and Potential of a Social Innovation” by Sherraden paint the picture of how asset building research and policy have grown over the past two decades.

Cramer observes: “By focusing on long-term well-being rather than short-term income or poverty, this book offers a valuable lens for thinking about social policy – pointing to opportunities for families to build their asset base.”

The Assets Perspective was published by MacMillan.