This paper has been commissioned by Prosper Canada to develop and present a working model of the relationships between financial empowerment and poverty in Canada.
It reviews published, international, English-language, academic and grey literature, as well as documents provided by Prosper Canada to develop a set of hypotheses about how financial empowerment may prevent, mitigate and reduce poverty in the context of an advanced industrialized economy like Canada. It uses available evidence, recognizing that it has important limitations (these are noted throughout the paper) and draw on existing theory, particularly in the areas of asset-based policy, financial inclusion and financial capability. Sources in the literature have generally been limited to material published within the last 20 years. The literature review conducted for this paper was exploratory rather than exhaustive.
Readers should treat this conceptual paper as a working document whose contents reflect one effort to synthesize the available evidence at one point in time. As research, dialogue and theory continue to advance, the framework suggested in this paper should likewise be revised and improved.