Understanding the Role of Payday Loans in the Lives of Low-Income Workers
Associate Professor Alexes Harris, of the U.W. Sociology Department, conducted a study with UW Professor of Sociology Barbara Reskin on payday lending and economic inequality in Washington state. Their innovative study is one of the first to collect data on the use of these alternative banking institutions by low-income individuals. Their findings suggest that people of color, women, and low-wage workers are overrepresented among payday borrowers, and that while most borrowers recognize the high cost of payday loans, they lack any mechanism through which they can obtain short-term loans at affordable interest and reasonable repayment terms. In addition to their presentation at the Center’s seminar series, Harris and Reskin presented their findings to a work session of the Washington State House Insurance, Financial Services and Consumer Protection Committee. Professor Harris became a WCPC Faculty Affiliate in 2008.
"Perspectives on Economic Citizenship," April 18, 2007