Third Round Awarded Proposals
Contact: Margo Brinton, Professor, Department of Biology
Contact: Eddy Nahmias, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy & Neuroscience Institute
Unfortunately the ability of the urban poor to access formal financial and risk management products and services is limited even though research shows their need for such products and services are just as great as that of more affluent households. By developing a better understanding of the financial and non-financial risks facing the urban poor, policy-makers and businesses will be better able to design public and private solutions that allow the urban poor to save, borrow, and insure themselves in ways that help them break the cycle of poverty that is otherwise difficult to escape and even more difficult to escape on a permanent basis.
We will accomplish three primary goals in the project. First, we will recruit a cluster of research faculty members at the intersection of behavioral economics and household finance who will leverage existing research resources to study how the urban poor make household financial decisions, how formal financial products can be better tailored and delivered to these households to increase their ability to take advantage of household investment opportunities and how to more efficiently finance and mitigate the significant financial and non-financial risk exposures they face.
Second, we will build a longitudinal data set that will document in minute detail the portfolios of the Atlanta poor. These data will track transactions made by poor households using a “financial diary” format that will span both financial and non-financial dimensions of the lives of the poor. We plan to collect this data following the same households over several years rather than taking a “snapshot” at one point in time. We also plan to complement traditional survey methods with controlled field experiments, to allow the whole database to contain information on behavioral traits that are often critical to rigorous theoretical understanding of decisions and the implementation of effective policies.
The final goal will be to bring this research back to the classroom as several distinguishing features of the type of data collection proposed here make it an ideal vehicle for a “signature research experience” for advanced undergraduates in Risk Management & Insurance and Economics. It is labor-intensive, requiring a small army of undergraduates to conduct most of the surveys and experiments. It is continuing over several years, because of the need for a longitudinal baseline. And it requires that basic concepts in these academic fields be translated into operational survey questions and experimental choice tasks. We therefore will propose that a major capstone undergraduate course for economics or risk management majors (and perhaps others) be developed around the research initiative. This facet would provide an inspirational research experience to allow those students to help GSU show the benefits of careful research for the development of individuals and families in those very neighborhoods.
Contact: Richard Phillips, Professor, Department of Risk Management & Insurance
The starting point for shaping the future of cities is literally to shape the cities themselves ‘to focus on cities’ design and physical and social infrastructure, with a view to procuring desirable places in which to live, work, and play. This means providing affordable housing, efficient transportation, and urban amenities like green space, clean air, and clean and abundant water supplies.
The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYSPS), with its departments of Economics and Public Management and Policy (PMAP), the College of Law (COL), and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Sociology share a common strength in urban policy, with internationally recognized experts in the area of urban and local public economics, social networks, urban planning, growth management, smart growth, zoning, and environmental and land use law.
This initiative builds on these existing strengths with a cluster hire of four faculty members working in urban policy and land use law. This proposal directly advances the university’s strategic cities initiative, building momentum behind GSU’s proposed Council for the Progress of Cities and advancing the university’s goal of global distinction, while simultaneously building on and tying together the existing infrastructure of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth (COL), Fiscal Research Center (AYSPS), and the Center for Neighborhood and Metropolitan Studies (A&S).
Contact: H. Spencer Banzhaf, Associate Professor, Department of Economics
Contact: Jenny Yang, Professor, Department of Chemistry