Research Informing Financial Education in Massachusetts

Here in Massachusetts, there are a number of financial and economic issues that affect all of us. These links are meant to provide insight into some of the more relevant research that demonstrates the impact of these issues and the influence they have on the people and economy of Masachusetts.

"Going for Growth: Promoting Access to Wealth Building Financial Services in Massachusetts Gateway Cities", Mass INC

The third brief in a series exploring evidence-based policy innovations to spur reinvestment and renewal in the state's key regional cities.

"2009 Financial Educators Survey Report", Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative

A statewide survey of nearly 200 financial educators to determine current activities and need for coordination, conducted by the Midas Collaborative, The FDIC, Mass INC, and the State Treasurer's Office.

"2009 Financial Institution Survey Report", Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative

A companion to the report above, surveying financial institutions on their activities and interests in financial education, conducted by the State Treasurer's Office, Mass Bankers Association, the Mass Credit Union League, and the FDIC.

"Bridging the Gaps Between Earnings and Basic Needs in Massachusetts", University of Massachusetts, Boston

October 2007. Randy Albelda and Jennifer Shea, Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Emerging Issues in Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Various articles published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Expanding Financial Skills in Low-Income Communities: A Framework for Building an Effective Financial Education Program (PDF)

Prepared for the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, this report is a guide for non-profit executive directors, trainers, financial institutions and others who hope to learn from research and best practices in financial education training for adults.

Patterns of Small Business Lending in Greater Boston (PDF)

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, this comprehensive report provides detailed statistics about small business lending in Greater Boston, such as number of loans, total dollars loaned, loan type, etc.

Homeownership and Mortgage Lending Reports

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, these reports, spanning from 2004 to 2007, examine various aspects of mortgage lending in Greater Boston and around the State.  Topics include lending to traditionally underserved borrowers, high cost mortgage lending, the Soft Second loan product, the Massachusetts Fair Lending Task Force report, and more.

Planning for College: A Consumer Approach to the Higher Education Marketplace, Mass INC

Whether selecting a health plan, paying for college, saving for retirement, or purchasing a home, middle class families shoulder dramatically more financial risk and responsibility today than in the past. This MassINC initiative looks at opportunities to advance the marketplace for family financial products with regulation, consumer protection, and financial education.

Research Informing Financial Education Nationally


Report: Mortgage Lending for Manufactured Homes

More than seventeen million Americans—many with low and moderate incomes—rely on manufactured homes for affordable housing. Yet, up to three quarters of them cannot obtain a long-term mortgage loan. Instead, they’re left with chattel loans that have monthly payments up to $600 or more per month greater than the payments for an equivalent mortgage.

This report which was produces from the data findings of a new study done by I'M HOME, Toward a Sustainable and Responsible Expansion of Affordable Mortgages for Manufactured Homes was published by CFED. 

Findings from the report include:

  • A variety of lenders and investors provide mortgages on manufactured homes.
  • Mortgage performance for manufactured homes is comparable to that of similar site-built homes.
  • Some manufactured home lending portfolios actually outperform mortgages for comparable site-built homes.
  • Mortgages for manufactured homes can be made with low downpayments and alternative credit (not necessarily top-tier FICO scores) and still perform well.

The report’s authors, Howard Banker and Robin LeBaron of Fair Mortgage Collaborative, lay out the report’s methodology and findings in detail. Also in the report is a detailed list of recommendations for how to make low-cost, high-performing mortgages more available to owners and buyers of manufactured homes.

Municipal Financial Empowerment: The Supervitamin for Public Programs

This report looks at the results of Professional Financial Counseling integrated into public programs. It proves the case that if quality financial counseling is provided to the clients served that will improve the program outcomes and will also increase their financial well-being. This report that was produced by The Office of Financial Empowerment in New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs.


AFI Self Suffeciency Clearing House

Based on input from practitioners, policymakers, and researchers, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) has been designed as a one-stop portal for self-sufficiency information to connect research to policy and practice. Supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), the SSRC. 

The New America Foundation’s Asset Building Program

This site contains research on policy about asset building on a national scale. Take a look at various reports, and information on recently published books.

Interview: The Gender Gap in Financial Literacy 

Annamaria Lusardi, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College discusses a gender gap in financial literacy in an interview with the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis, a blogpost, and her book "Overcoming the Savings Slump".

Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality - Tenth Anniversary Edition

January 2007, Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M .Shapiro. The 10th Anniversary Edition contains two new chapters that look at the increase in racial wealth inequality in the past ten years and the new policies that have been launched to address it.

By a Thread: The New Experience of America’s Middle Class (PDF)

November 2007, Jennifer Wheary and Tamara Draut, Demos Thomas Shapiro, Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis University.  This study is based on a new “Middle Class Security Index” developed by IASP and Demos which rates household stability across five core economic factors: assets, educational achievement, housing costs, budget, and health care. Key finding: Fewer than one in three middle-class families in America are financially secure, and the remaining majority are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether. The report recommends a set of policies that will help open access to, and strengthen, America’s middle class. 

Using Behaviorial Economics to Increase Financial Outcomes

New information on how people engage and make changes in their financial lives can be integrated into education and programming for better results. The Washington-based Corporation for Enterprise Development hosts a virtual library on this topic.

Banking on Financial Education

This article, released by the FDIC in late 2007, discusses the impact of financial education, target markets that tend to need financial education the most, and a business case for financial education.

Longitudinal Evaluation of the Intermediate-term Impact of the Money Smart Financial Education Curriculum Upon Consumers' Behavior and Confidence (PDF)

This April 2007 report by the FDIC examines the impact of the Money Smart curriculum on the consumers who have participated.

“Barriers to Saving” (PDF)

Zoe Neuberger, Robert Greenstein and Peter Orszag for the Summer 2006 edition of Communities & Banking, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. An article on how existing asset rules for means-tested assistance programs discourage savings and recommendations for federal and state action that could facilitate savings by low-income families.

Delivery Systems for Financial Education in Theory and Practice

This 2004 FDIC article examines financial education from the design stage through implementation, delivery and evaluation.

Why Saving Matters

Business-school professor Ronald Wilcox discusses his new book on America's aversion to thrift, and what we can do about it.

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