Jennifer Romich


Financial Asset-Building Strategies and the Well-Being of Children and Youth in Poverty
Poverty in the United States is marked not only by inequalities in income but by inequalities in wealth, the holding of financial assets. Programs and policies designed to increase asset-ownership among persons who are poor attract bipartisan interest and support. To date, enthusiasm about asset-building has been generated more rapidly than evidence. To set the stage for a more thorough test of hypotheses linking family assets and child well-being, Assistant Professor Jennifer Romich, U.W. School of Social Work, developed a framework for evaluating the impact of financial asset-building interventions—individual development accounts, other savings programs, or asset-grants or trust funds—on child and youth well-being. Romich presented the paper at the 2007 APPAM conference and at the 2006 CFED/Federal Reserve conference on “Closing the Wealth Gap: Building Assets among Low-Income Households.” She is continuing her work on this project and preparing journal submissions with support from the U.W.’s Silberman Family Fund Faculty Grant Program.

WCPC Poverty Research Flash:

When More Work Doesn't Pay: The Impacts of the Loss of Means-Tested Benefits on Discretionary Income for Low and Middle-Income Families. By Jennifer Romich and Stephen Holt.