Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Lahiri, Dr. Sajal


AbstractPoverty, financial anxiety, and college enrollment are the catalyst for economic well-being. The U.S. poverty rate has bounced among double digits over the past 59 years, since the declaration of War on Poverty by President LBJ in 1964. The poverty rate has been cut in half from 20% in 1964 to 11.6% in 2021. The deprivation to our economy from poverty, financial anxiety and a lack of college enrollment is the reason we focus on these barriers to promote economic wellness. In this paper, we conduct three chapters that include the socio-economic determinants of financial anxiety, the determinants of going to college and the determinants of poverty and its extent. Our lives characteristics (eg. health, anxiety, and intergenerational mobility) are significantly impacted by our personal income levels that have a need to be adequate to reach a healthy level of economic well-being. This research also focuses on factors of intergenerational mobility (eg. the determinants of the parents that determine their children going to college). We use data from the 2018 financial capability study for the 1st and 2nd chapter and we use panel data from the PSID University of Michigan micro dataset for the 3rd chapter using OLS, logit, ologit, ivprobit and hackman correction equations. These datasets allow us to research distinctive relationships among financial anxiety, college enrollment, and poverty and their determinants.




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