The School of Economics and Business Administration is excited to announce that Bank of the West's Charitable Investments Program has awarded the School's Center for Regional Economy a $5,000 grant to perform an experimental analysis of financial preferences among low-income individuals. This approach will be used to study the connection between poverty and a short-term orientation, as well as the impact of educational programming and/or written disclaimers by financial institutions on altering that connection.

The site for this study will be Concord, the largest city in Contra Costa County. According to the latest Census data, 9.9% of families and 13.5% of individuals live below the poverty level. Tomas Gomez-Arias, Director of the Center for Regional Economy, believes that “the results of this experiment will assist in devising mechanisms to ameliorate the short term bias among low-income individuals in the community.”

In the process, Saint Mary’s students collaborating in the research will gain research skills and knowledge about financial practices and behaviors, especially among disadvantaged groups, and contribute to the social justice mission of the College while supporting the regional component of the Center’s mission.

The findings of this research report will be presented to Bank of the West and a paper will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. To find out more, please contact Tomas Gomez-Arias, tgomez@stmarys-ca.edu.

About Bank of the West Charitable Investments
The mission of Bank of the West's Charitable Investments Program is to help meet the needs of the community by supporting nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving quality of life, particularly for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. For more information visit: www.bankofthewest.com/about-us/community-support/charitable-investments.html.

About the Center for Regional Economy
The Center for Regional Economy (CRE) brings together faculty, students and alumni at Saint Mary’s College with business, governmental  and nonprofit groups in the San  Francisco East Bay, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and the Asia-Pacific Region in support of an economy that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.  For more information visit: www.stmarys-ca.edu/CRE.

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