Enabling Families to Weather Emergencies and Develop

Brief

Enabling Families to Weather Emergencies and Develop

The Role of Assets

Abstract

Low-wage jobs can be unstable, leaving families struggling to cope with employment gaps and financial emergencies that can strike without warning. About four in five low-income families are "asset poor," lacking enough liquid savings to live for three months at the federal poverty level without earnings. In this essay, McKernan and Ratcliffe suggest a cluster of policies that would improve financial markets and savings opportunities for low-income families across the life cycle.

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