J. Michael Collins is faculty director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer & Personal Finance in the School of Human Ecology, an Associate Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, a family economics specialist for UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Center for Demography and Ecology.
Collins studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings and investment choices. His work includes the study of financial capability with a focus on low-income families. He is involved in studies of household finance and well-being supported by leading foundations and federal agencies. In 2015, Palgrave Macmillan released a book Collins edited called A Fragile Balance: Emergency Savings and Liquid Resources for Low-Income Consumers.
Collins brings nearly a decade of applied experience to his research. He founded PolicyLab Consulting Group, a research consulting firm working with national foundations and government agencies, and co-founded SpringFour, an online database for mortgage servicers and counselors. He also worked for NeighborWorks America (Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation) and the Millennial Housing Commission.
He holds a Masters from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, a PhD from Cornell University, and a BS from Miami University (OH).
Host Dan Loney is joined by J. Michael Collins (Faculty Director, Center for Financial Security, University Of Wisconsin), Deborah Sunter (Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University), Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza (Associate Professor of the Practice of Environmental Policy and Management, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University), Mike Hoffmann (Professor and Executive Director, Cornell University), Richard Prisinzano (Senior Economist, Penn Wharton Budget Model), Daniel Kammen (Professor of Energy; Founding Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL); Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment., University of California, Berkeley), Alan Auerbach (Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law; Director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, University of California, Berkeley), and Roberta Rehner Iversen (Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania) on the Thursday, January 31, 2019 edition of Knowledge@Wharton.