Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Symposium to examine family financial security

Family financial security is the topic of a symposium hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Center for Financial Literacy on April 19 and 20 at the Fluno Center.

The symposium, Family Financial Security: Implications for Policy and Practice, will bring together leading scholars, business practitioners and policymakers in four panel discussions on banking and financial services choices; credit selection and use; saving for retirement; and thrift and debt.

Papers being presented, including some commissioned for the symposium, will address how programs, policies and products influence and can support family financial security. Papers represent the cross-disciplinary nature of family financial decision-making, authored by investigators in economics, finance, psychology, sociology, law, public policy, and human development.

The Center for Financial Security within the School of Human Ecology is hosting the symposium. The center is one of the three members of the U.S. Social Security Administration's Financial Literacy Research Consortium.  Center director J. Michael Collins, a La Follette School faculty affiliate, La Follette School professor Karen Holden are co-principal investigators, and other La Follette faculty and affiliates are involved in individual research projects for the center.  La Follette School student Melissa Berger assisted as a project assistant.

"True financial literacy is a lifelong process that can begin as early as reading literacy and continues throughout life," says Collins, an assistant professor of consumer science. "Positive financial decision-making is shaped by so many factors —from knowledge to families and peers to institutional structures. Better understanding these influences helps researchers, business practitioners, and policymakers create an environment that enables and encourages responsible decision-making."

As part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison's School of Human Ecology, the Center for Financial Security develops and disseminates applied research on consumer financial security. The Family Financial Security Symposium is sponsored by American Family Insurance with panel sponsors Summit Credit Union and CBM Credit Education Foundation.