Course Subject
Course Number
Course Credit

Wealth and Inequality: Asset Development and Poverty Reduction Policies in the U.S.

Course Description

Financial assets underpin the economic fabric of the U.S. Households' ability to accumulate wealth is a function of income, private financial products and services, and public policy. This course will examine how the accumulation of such assets - namely land, homes, investments - is stimulated and shaped by government intervention. From tax and policy to banking regulation, poverty alleviation programs to discrimination laws, the U.S. government has historically played a critical role in promoting wealth among some groups and excluding others from such privilege.

The course will review new strategies supported by foundations, community practitioners, financial institutions and policymakers for expanding this country's successful wealth-formation vehicles - such as individual development accounts and
life-long savings accounts. At the same time, the course will consider how effective public policy must understand the limitations of such innovations, considering factors undermining asset formation such as predatory lending, consumer psychology and financial product availability. The course, which is designed to be participatory and interactive, will conclude with students conceptualizing their own assets policies.


CORE-GP 1018 and
CORE-GP 1022 or URPL-GP 2608

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