Aspen Institute Publications
Aspen Institute publications are listed below. Many are available for purchase through Google Checkout, a secure system for handling credit card transaction online. For assistance with ordering publications, please contact our Publications office by email or by phone at (410) 820.5433. Please note: Orders are shipped two times a week from our warehouse in Queenstown, MD, on the Eastern Shore.
"Two Cheers for School Based Financial Education," provides an in-depth look at the history of financial literacy initiatives in America, past successes, shortcomings, and lessons learned. The white paper goes on to offer policy considerations and best ways forward in the effort to increase financial literacy in America. Dr. Lewis Mandell is the Senior Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Initiative on Financial Security and a preeminent scholar of finance and researcher of financial literacy.
The Initiative on Financial Security (Aspen IFS) at the Aspen Institute has conducted four years of research into the potential for a delivery system based on a retail model for Child Accounts. This report begins with a discussion of the inherent advantages of a retail model as well as some of the perceived obstacles.
In "Wall Street/Main Street: The Challenge of Building Financial Security in the Obama Era," Aspen IFS issues a challenge to Wall Street to take the initiative and begin work to help build a new American system of savings.
America is facing a savings and asset crisis. The savings rate has been hovering around zero since 2005 and, even with the expected uptick in savings in 2008, we are experiencing a period of lower personal savings than at any time since the Great Depression.
With a new President preparing to take office and a new Congress about to be sworn in, the Initiative on Financial Security has laid out a comprehensive savings agenda for policy makers to pursue in order to ensure the long-term economic prosperity of the United States. Written in the form of a memo to President-Elect Obama, the paper – The Chance for Change – spells out the importance of saving to the long-term growth of the economy. In addition, although most experts are calling for more spending, not more saving, to address the current recession, the IFS paper argues that simultaneously stimulating the economy and encouraging savings are not inherently contradictory. The Chance for Change concludes by making several policy recommendations and suggests how they might be pursued by the Administration and Congress. The recommendations include: investment accounts for every child born in America, savings accounts to build money for a downpayment on a home, retirement accounts for those without employer-sponsored pension plans, starter annuities to help ensure that people don’t outlive their savings in retirement, and a concerted effort to restore confidence in the financial services industry.
Cities and counties in the state of California have a unique opportunity to advance a Child Account policy, according to a new report from IFS. Child Accounts: The California Advantage explains how local governments in California could use an existing financial instrument - known as Coogan Trusts - to create a Child Account program.
In a recent paper for the Urban Institute- "Storm Clouds Ahead for 401(k) Plans?" - Perun explores the implications of the Supreme Court decision in LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates and discusses whether that decision will undermine recent efforts in Congress. In the paper, Perun dissects the repercussions of this ruling on retirement plans, and offers a path forward to guaranteeing all American workers a financially safe and secure retirement.
IFS and the UK's Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) have published a report detailing and analyzing the initial years of the UK Child Trust Fund initiative. The program provides every child born in the UK with a private investment account, including a £250 ($500) starter contribution from the government. Similar to the IFS Child Account proposal, the account aims to give children a financial springboard into adulthood at age 18, helping to pay for anything from a first home to a college education.
For the Initiative on Financial Security, 2007 was a watershed year. The May publication of the seminal report, Savings for Life, marked the end of one phase of IFS's work and ushered in a new phase with new challenges and opportunities. IFS's Annual Report looks back on the successes of 2007 and looks ahead to the vigorous agenda in 2008 and beyond.
In The State of Black America 2008: In the Black Woman's Voice - a recent publication of the National Urban League -- IFS Executive Director Lisa Mensah authors a chapter on putting homeownership back within reach. In it, she outlines the IFS proposal for creating Home Accounts to encourage low- and moderate-income Americans to save for a down payment toward the purchase of a house.