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Financial Inclusion

CGAP's Technology Blog: From Social Protection to Financial Inclusion and Beyond

November 26, 2012

This post was orginally published on CGAP's Technology Blog.

The idea that linking social protection payments to financial inclusion initiatives can reduce poverty is gaining increasing traction. In February of this year, CGAP published a paper on Social Cash Transfers and Financial Inclusion. In April, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held a workshop examining the potential of financially-inclusive electronic G2P payments. One of the core goals of the Better Than Cash Alliance, launched in September by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, UN Capital Development Fund, USAID, and Visa Inc., is to reduce the reliance on cash for G2P and other transfers in order to improve the effectiveness of aid.

Tax Subsidies vs. Auto Enrollment: What’s Best?

November 26, 2012
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A new study released this week examines a critical policy design question: what is the most effective way to increase retirement savings, including among lower-income workers? Most notably, the study finds that while tax subsidies to retirement savings result in a negligible increase in overall savings, “nudge” policies like automatic enrollment and default contributions boost retirement savings without corresponding decreases in other accounts. As noted in the N.Y. Times Economix blog, this research may have serious policy implications for tax reform in the U.S. – particularly as Congress seeks to raise revenue through lowering tax expenditures.

From Protection to Investment

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2012

The way governments give aid to citizens in need has changed dramatically in recent years: the estimated number of government-to-person cash payments transferred electronically in 2012 has doubled from 2012 to 2009 — from 25 to 61 percent according to the data of countries examined by the Global Savings and Social Protection Initiative (GSSP).

Asset Building News Week, November 12-16

November 16, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include housing, poverty, financial products, and government assistance programs.

Cut to the Front of the Line: Innovative Ways to Promote Saving

November 14, 2012
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Behavioral economics heavily contributes to the way we design asset building and savings programs. We know that savers respond to cues, nudges, incentives, and targeted choices. Seems simple enough. One thing we are learning, however, is that individuals need more than just incentives. There was a time when groups would offer $50 to open a savings account and wonder why the take-up rate didn’t surpass 10 percent.

Asset Building News Week, November 5-9

November 9, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include Hurricane Sandy, inequality, retirement, employment, and financial education.

Guest Blog Posts on The Ladder

November 8, 2012

The Asset Building Program is pleased to announce a call for guest blog contributions. Our blog functions as a repository of information about our research projects and policy proposals, provides timely news analysis and updates from the field of asset building, and regularly features the work of partner organizations.

What topics are eligible for consideration on The Ladder?

We welcome posts that explore a range of topics, including, but not limited to: income and wealth inequality; federal, state and local savings policy; the interplay of homeownership, housing policy, and wealth; savings and credit product design; the role of assets in educational outcomes; public benefits and areas for reform; retirement security and savings; and the intersection of asset issues with race, gender, or other factors.

Who can contribute a guest post?

Those with expertise in relevant fields are welcome to submit a proposal for a guest post. Posts from asset building practitioners or others with “on the ground” experience, as well as posts from advocates, researchers and those with policy-oriented experience are all welcome.

Accumulating Wealth is related to Youth’s Math Achievement

November 8, 2012
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The link between household wealth and youth’s educational outcomes has been confirmed by numerous research studies, finding that youth tend to do better educationally when their households have more wealth (click here and here for more information). A new paper from the Assets and Education Initiative at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare confirms the relationship between household wealth and math achievement for youth from the U.S. and Ghana. The paper adds a unique contribution to existing research.

Asset Building News Week, October 29-November 2

November 1, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the impact of Hurricane Sandy, inequality, the safety net, and financial products and education.

From Social Banking to Financial Inclusion: Understanding the Potential for Financial Services Innovation in India

  • By
  • Eric Tyler,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Sunil Bhat, Minakshi Ramji and Anjaneyulu Ballem (MicroSave)
October 29, 2012

When it comes to savings for the poor and financial inclusion efforts, India is a dynamic market ripe for innovation and experimentation. Its extensive web of financial service providers as well as the incidence of large-scale exclusion are contradictory features that also make it a market worth examining.

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