Refinancing the American Dream: the Consequences of Targeted Financial Policy for Political and Racial Inequality in the United States.

Patricia's dissertation Refinancing the American Dream: the Consequences of Targeted Financial Policy for Political and Racial Inequality in the United States considers the political participation of marginalized groups and the necessity to ensure the representation of their interests. She looks to fill the gap in the ways financial services such as pawnshops, check-cashings, auto title loans, and payday loans (collectively known as the fringe economy) exacerbate the relationship among race, political participation, and political economy. Addressing the political behaviors of those touched by the fringe economy is necessary because these individuals compromise an often neglected voice in society: the overwhelmingly poor, disproportionately minority.  Her dissertation draws on novel geographic data, survey data, and interview data from Chicago, IL and Philadelphia, PA to outline the characteristics of fringe economy users, and the impact financial institutions have on participation, and political attitudes in low income, disproportionately minority communities. Financial institutions, akin to other public policies and institutions can shape the distance of citizens from government, with profound implications for democratic governance and inequality in America.  

  • APSA Urban Politics Award: Byran Jackson Dissertation Research on Minority Politics Award
  • The Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • The University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences’ Teece Fellowship