Four La Follette School faculty members have received funding from the Herb Kohl Public Service Research Competition’s third round of awards. The Kohl Competition supports nonpartisan research that informs critical public policy and governance debates and advances evidence-based decision-making.
J. Michael Collins, Faculty Director of the Center for Financial Security and Associate Professor in Consumer Science, was awarded the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowships Award. This program, funded by WARF in recognition of the leadership of the late WARF Trustee President H. I. Romnes, is designed to bridge the gap between the Research Committee’s initial research support for new faculty and the Mid-Career Award for Faculty Research. Dr. Collins research on consumer behavior insights focus primarily on the role of information in consumer decision making, especially for low-income and vulnerable households. Dr. Collins serves UW Cooperative Extension as a state specialist in family economics and household finance.
Read more about the award here.
Faculty Director, Center for Financial Security
Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance
Associate Professor, Consumer Science
Associate Professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin-Madison
In addition to serving as Faculty Director of Center for Financial Security, I hold appointments at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension and the Institute for Research on Poverty.
I study consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings and investment choices. My current focus is on financial capability and well-being with a focus on low-income families.
I came to academia after consulting and working in the nonprofit/foundation sector, as well as the public sector. My masters is from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard University and my PhD is from Cornell University.
Areas of Research Interest: Consumer Decision-Making in the Financial Marketplace, Role of Public Policy in Influencing Credit, Savings and Investment Choices, Financial Capability with Focus on Low-Income Families, and Household Finance
Center for Financial Security Faculty Director, J. Michael Collins, was awarded the inaugural Ketchum Prize from the FINRA Foundation. The announcement took place at the Foundation’s Board of Directors triannual board meeting in Washington, D.C. The Foundation’s prize is named for Richard “Rick” Ketchum, who retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Chairman of the FINRA Foundation in 2016. Ketchum is admired for his distinguished leadership in the field of securities regulation over a career spanning three decades. Dr. Collins is being honored for his extensive work in improving family financial security through innovative and thoughtful approaches.
The report introduces a new intervention called “FINMed.” FINMed is brief, solution-focused financial coaching session designed for people facing new ongoing out-of-pocket medical expenses or a pattern of problems paying for ongoing health care needs. The coaching involves:
- Determining the patient’s health goals and motivation
- Planning for the costs of health care
- Setting up a process to make sure the patient will have the funds needed when the next set of care (e.g., refill or therapy session) is due
This reports present research into the relationship between household financial behaviors and the ability to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, particularly prescription drugs. Overall, households struggling to manage their finances appear more likely to skip medical treatments due to cost. In turn, failing to follow through on a medical treatment can lead to higher costs and worsening health status.