Institute on Assets and Social Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

Tools and Research Indexes

IASP works to develop new measures and socioeconomic indicators that are supporting a new national conversation on family financial well-being, particularly for at-risk groups such as minorities and seniors. Three complementary areas of research and analysis are being used to identify and understand more fully the characteristics that contribute to family financial well-being, including:

  • Creation of indicators of stability and vulnerability
  • Refining, validating and expanding measures of asset poverty
  • Analyses of federal and state tax codes for individual asset accumulation provisions and distributional impact

Current Projects

Family Financial Well-Being in the 21st Century: Strategic Positioning of Data Tools for Policy Impact

IASP, in collaboration with our partner organizations Dēmos and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), has embarked on a three-year project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, on family financial well-being and the role of the social contract in creating opportunities for economic security and stability in this nation. This project creates strategic data tools and evidence-based analytic measures—a Middle Class Security Index and a refined Asset Poverty Index—to establish an integrated framework for identifying factors that contribute to family financial well-being and most impact families’ stability and vulnerability. Additionally, the project looks at key federal and state wealth-building tax policies that may affect these measures, examining the relationship between policy and long-term financial security, and identifying policy mechanisms that serve to block mobility, make asset accumulation difficult, maintain wealth inequality, and, most importantly, undermine family stability.

Previous Projects

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