Research. Health. Assets. Change.

The Institute for Economic and Racial Equity (formerly IASP), is a research institute that advances economic opportunity and equity for individuals and families, particularly households of color and those kept out of the economic mainstream.

For over a decade as the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP), our institute has furthered the understanding that assets and wealth are critical to household wellbeing and that all families should have access to the resources and opportunities needed to participate fully in social and economic life. Now, as IERE, we continue that work, but we are pressing into new focus areas that contribute to inequity to bring ourselves to holistic solutions for injustice. Working at the intersections of academia, policy, and practice, IERE partners with diverse communities to transform structures, policies, and narratives. Grounded in a social justice tradition, our research informs strategic action for racial and economic justice to achieve an inclusive, equitable society.

Recent Publications

Seeds of Equity: Fostering Inclusivity in Children’s Savings Account Programs

The day-to-day choices CSAs make in operations and outreach greatly impact how their programs are experienced by children and families. A new report from IERE, Seeds of Equity: Fostering Inclusivity in Children’s Savings Account Programs, shares insights from the staff of 14 CSA programs on what barriers to inclusion families may face in CSA programs and how they can be addressed.

IERE Research Brief: Interim Report from our G.I. Bill study

"This brief outlines preliminary results from IERE's study of inequity in the Post-WWII GI Bill. There is a real empirical question, and a disagreement among scholars, about the extent to which the GI Bill discriminated against Black veterans. Preliminary results from our study illustrate this complexity."

HEAL Winchendon Baseline Evaluation

Based in the rural town of Winchendon in north-central Massachusetts, HEAL Winchendon offers an exciting model for community-driven economic development. Addressing local upstream social determinants of health, namely social inclusion, economic empowerment, and healthy food access, the HEAL Winchendon coalition is catalyzing important partnerships and efforts focused on improving the health and well-being of Winchendon.

More Publications

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IERE's Funders Brief

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are studying the widespread social and economic effects of the virus, as well as ways that stakeholders, for instance, the Children’s Savings Accounts field, have adapted to the pandemic. In the coming months and years, we will be broadening our focus to include more of the areas in which structural racism reinforces inequities, including education, health, and the legal system (see Figure 1).

 

 

COVID-19 Response: What's Now, What's Next

 

Our Focus Areas

Statue of the goddess justice, blindfolded and holding scales

Racial Wealth and Economic Equity

Inequality is not merely about access to resources and assets, but rather, that similar accomplishments convert to financial gain differentially by race. Racial wealth gaps among younger adults grow dramatically over the life course. Our findings emphasize the importance of policy changes rather than behavioral changes in the broader effort to build an inclusive economy. 

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Work and Opportunity Pathways

For most Americans, work continues to be a primary source of income and identity. Yet work and wealth pathways that functioned for many in the past have shifted, and there is increasing awareness about patterns of exclusion that shape these paths. Our research focuses on the factors that break down the work and wealth pathways in our economy. 

keys on a ring with a keychain the shape of a house

Housing and Community Stability

Stable communities are critical for family well-being and economic security. Central to stable communities are housing stability and high-quality community-based resources. Our work focuses on a issues including housing and homelessness, housing-based asset building initiatives, and entrenched inequality in access to community resources. 

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Health and Life-Course Equity

Access to quality physical and mental health services is critical; however, health disparities run rampant through U.S. society. Our work in this area aims to provide research evidence of both the barriers to health and life-course equity and the solutions to health inequities and intergenerational life-course obstacles.

Our Work
A dam made of gray stones separates calm water from a grey sky

“While income is much like a river, which ebbs and flows with the environment, wealth is a reservoir, available to be drawn upon in times of need.” – Thomas Shapiro