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Public Policy and Asset Building

Promising Account-Based Systems and the Rationale for Inclusion

By Reid Cramer

The federal government has long fostered individual asset building, but the asset-building systems in place--largely embedded in the tax code--disproportionately benefit households with greater resources. The challenge is to identify ways to make an account-based system work for those without tax liabilities, bank accounts, or assets, a most promising one being to give children a start-in-life asset account at birth.

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