The Hidden Financial Lives of America’s Poor and Middle Class

Part one of two

Presented by:
Jonathan Morduch
, Professor of Policy and Economics, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
Rachel Schneider, Senior Vice President, Center for Financial Services Innovation
H. Luke Shaefer, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, School of Social Work, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Diana Elliott, Research Manager, Financial Security and Mobility, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Moderated by:
Eric Nee, Managing Editor, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon PDT, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Sponsored by:


What are the implications of the U.S. Financial Diaries and other recent research and how can they provide insight to help families escape poverty, build stability, move up the ladder, and invest in the future? This webinar will look at innovative policies, products, and programs that seek to help households make ends meet, build security and stability, and invest for the future. We’ll consider innovative efforts in all sectors of society—from financial tech start-ups, to new policy approaches at all levels of government, and everything in between. 

This webinar will:

  • Explore the results and implications of new research on the financial lives of low- and moderate-income Americans
  • Illustrate how month-to-month income and expense volatility can be as important as income level
  • Highlight findings from Pew Charitable Trust’s recent research on mobility, financial stability and security
  • Discuss the new challenges households face and how they are adjusting
  • Look at gaps in the safety net and what it means for people who fall through them

The U.S. Financial Diaries project followed more than 235 low- and moderate-income American households for a year, attempting to record every dollar earned, received, borrowed, spent, given, and lent. Luke Shaefer and his coauthor Kathryn Edin conducted intensive research on households living on less than $2.00 a day in the United States. And Pew Charitable Trusts has conducted extensive nationally representative surveys on household finances and economic mobility. Together these research initiatives provide new insight into key challenges that American households face now.

The webinar will be led by Jonathan Morduch of New York University and Rachel Schneider of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, leaders of the U.S. Financial Diaries project. They will be joined by Luke Shaefer, associate professor at the University of Michigan and coauthor of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, and Diana Elliott of the Financial Security and Mobility program at Pew Charitable Trusts.

Thanks to the generosity of Citi Foundation, this webinar is complimentary.

 

Speaker Bios

Jonathan Morduch, Professor of Policy and Economics, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University @jmorduch

Jonathan Morduch studies poverty, finance, and international development. He has written about how microfinance really works, how low-income families construct financial lives, and what social finance can learn from corporate finance. His coauthored books include Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day and The Economics of Microfinance. Morduch is professor of public policy and economics at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, and he is executive director of the Financial Access Initiative.

Rachel Schneider, Senior Vice President, Center for Financial Services Innovation @RachelSchneider 

Rachel Schneider is senior vice president at the Center for Financial Services Innovation. She is an expert on consumer financial health. As a co-principal investigator on the US Financial Diaries research study, Schneider is uniquely positioned to offer her frank assessment of the financial challenges facing the majority of Americans. Though she began her career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co., Schneider credits her commitment to the potential for innovative finance to solve major social problems from her days as a VISTA Volunteer (now AmeriCorps). She holds a JD/MBA from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley. 

H. Luke Shaefer, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, School of Social Work, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

H. Luke Shaefer, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, School of Social Work and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. His research has been published in top peer-reviewed academic journals such as Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and Social Service Review, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the US Census Bureau, among other sources. He received the 2013 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award, given by the Society for Social Work and Research. His recent book with Kathryn Edin, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, has been reviewed in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, where it was named an “Editors’ Choice.”

Diana Elliott, Research Manager, Financial Security and Mobility, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Diana Elliott is the lead researcher for Pew’s study of American families’ financial security and mobility. She conducts original analyses to assess family balance sheets across diverse households. She has presented research to audiences nationwide and been interviewed by top national television, radio, and print outlets. Elliott previously served as research officer for Pew’s economic mobility project, working to build broad nonpartisan agreement on the facts and figures related to mobility. Before coming to Pew, she was a family demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. Elliott completed her doctorate in sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Eric Nee, Managing Editor, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Eric Nee is the managing editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review, published by the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University, and co-host of the Social Innovation Conversations podcast channel. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the publishing industry, most of it covering the high-tech industry. Before joining Stanford, Nee was a senior writer for Fortune magazine in the Palo Alto, Calif., bureau. He also helped Time Inc. launch eCompany Now (where he was executive editor), which later merged with Business 2.0. Before joining Fortune, Nee launched Forbes magazine’s Silicon Valley bureau, where he was bureau manager. He also served as editor-in-chief of Upside magazine for close to five years.