Monday, May 07, 2018

Matthew Diemer and U-M sociology colleague awarded a Research on Strategies to Prevent and Alleviate Poverty Grant from U-M Poverty Solutions

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A project led by professors Matthew Diemer and Fabian Pfeffer (Department of Sociology) is one of the nine faculty grants awarded this year by Poverty Solutions. The project “Leveraging Wealth Data to Inform Asset-Building Policy” also involves CPEP doctoral candidate Aixa Marchand and Professor of Human Development and Psychology Rashmita Mistry (UCLA).

Wealth plays a pervasive and pernicious role in transmitting inequality. Wealth—assets like savings and financial holdings such as housing—differs from income—wages, salaries, and cash assistance from the government—and is generally more unequally distributed than income. This contributes to widening social inequality, including impacts on educational attainment.

Wealth demonstrably impacts youth development and educational attainment, but the mechanisms resulting in this phenomenon are not yet established. This project leverages the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics to track family wealth, including identifying key opportunities to intervene across childhood and adolescence that could lead to higher educational attainment during adulthood.

The results could inform policies to help more Americans save and build wealth, creating optimal environments for high educational achievement, increasing social mobility, and equalizing opportunity.

Matthew Diemer is Associate Professor

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