Reducing Global Poverty

The Case for Asset Accumulation

Defeating global poverty remains one of the most daunting challenges facing the international community. Income- and consumption-based strategies fall short of helping the world's poor climb out of poverty over the long term in the developing world and even in the United States. But asset-based approaches to development, such as small loans or insurance, can promote public policies that lead to increases in the capital assets of the poor—what the Ford Foundation calls "the physical, financial, human, social, and natural resources than can be acquired, developed, improved, and transferred across generations."

In this important volume, Caroline Moser and a group of experts with on-the-ground experience provide an in-depth look at how assets can be used as a powerful tool to improve lives. They present original case studies of asset-building projects around the globe, describing communities in Ecuador, Indonesia, and El Salvador, as well as in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Because asset-based approaches focus on long-term solutions and complement other social protection strategies, they may prove the missing link to successfully aiding the world's poor.

Contributors include Lael Brainard (Brookings Institution), Michael R. Carter (University of Wisconsin), Monique Cohen (Microfinance Opportunities), Sarah Cook (Institute of Development Studies, Sussex), Héctor Cordero-Guzmán (Baruch College, CUNY), Lilianne Fan (Oxfam), Pablo Farias (Ford Foundation), Clare Ferguson (formerly Department for International Development), Andrew Felton (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), Sarah Gammage (Rutgers University), Anirudh Krishna (Duke University), Amy Liu (Brookings Institution), Vijay Mahajan (BASIX, India), Paula Nimpuno-Parente (Ford Foundation, South Africa), Andy Norton (World Bank), Manuel Orozco (Inter-American Dialogue), Victoria Quiroz-Becerra (Baruch College, CUNY), Dennis Rodgers (London School of Economics), Andrés Solimano (United Nations-ECLAC), and Pamela Young (Microfinance Opportunities).