Mass Participatory Finance in the Era of Growing Inequality


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




The project provides a theoretically guided empirical description of household financial practices in the era of mass-participatory finance and reveals their role in wealth mobility as a novel mechanism of inequality. First, it identifies three distinctive patterns of use of financial products and services, as well as a number of other financial habits. Next, it demonstrates that the financial practices of the disadvantaged result in downward wealth mobility while the financial practices of the privileged facilitate upward wealth mobility, above and beyond standard explanations considered in the literature. The analyses span from the 1980s, when the trends of mass-participatory finance and growing wealth inequality had just begun in the United States, to the late 2000s, when both trends were well underway.