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Lisa Servon

Prior to her appointment as Professor of City and Regional Planning at Penn Design, Professor Servon was Professor of Management and Urban Policy at The New School, where she also served as Dean at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Professor Servon conducts research in the areas of urban poverty, community development, economic development, and issues of gender and race. Specific areas of expertise include economic insecurity, consumer financial services, and financial justice. She holds a BA in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, an MA in History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Urban Planning from UC Berkeley. Her work has been funded by the Open Society Institute, the Aspen Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Fannie Mae Foundation and others. Professor Servon spent 2015-2016 as a scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and 2004-2005 as Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. Professor Servon is the author or editor of numerous journal articles and five books: The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives; Bridging the Digital Divide: Technology, Community, and Public Policy; Bootstrap Capital: Microenterprises and the American Poor; Gender and Planning: A Reader, and Otra Vida es Posible; Practicas Economicas Alternativas Durante la Crisis.

Education

BA in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, 1986; MA in History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania; and a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, 1995.

Title(s)

Professor of City and Regional Planning; Department Chair

School(s)

Penn Design

Department(s)

City and Regional Planning

Twitter Handle

Publications

Lisa Servon (2017, January). The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Lisa Servon (2014, October). Are Banks Too Expensive to Use?, The New York Times.

Lisa Servon (2014, February). The Post Office as Payday Lender? Return to Sender, The Wall Street Journal.

Lisa Servon (2014, February). What Good Are Payday Loans?, The New Yorker

Lisa Servon (2013, October). The High Cost, For the Poor, of Using a Bank, The New Yorker.

Lisa Servon (2013, September). The Real Reason the Poor Go Without Bank Accounts, The Atlantic Cities.

Lisa Servon (2013, July). Ritecheck 12, Public Books.

Sarah Pink, Lisa Servon (2013). Sensory global towns: an experiential approach to the growth of the Slow City movementEnvironment and Planning, volume 45, pages 451 – 466.

Joana Conic, Manuel Castells, Amalia Cardenas, Lisa Servon (2012). Beyond the Crisis: The Emergence of Alternative Economic PracticesAftermath: The Cultures of the Economic Crisis, Ed. Manuel Castells, Ed. Joao Caraca, Ed. Gustavo Cardoso, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 210-248.

Timothy Bates, Magnus Lofstrom, and Lisa Servon (2011). Why Have Lending Programs Targeting Disadvantaged Small Business Borrowers Achieved So Little Success in the United States?, Economic Development Quarterly, volume 25, issue 3, pages 255 - 266.

Lisa Servon, M.Anne Visser, and Robert W. Fairlie (2011). Estimating the Capital Gap for Small Businesses in New York City, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management, volume 23, issue 4, pages 451 - 477.

Lisa Servon, M. Anne Visser, Robert W. Fairlie (2010). The Continuum of Capital for Small and Micro Enterprises, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, volume 15, issue 3, 301.

James Carr and Lisa Servon (2009). Vernacular Culture and Urban Economic Development, Journal of the American Planning Association, volume 75, no. 1, winter, pages 28 - 40.

Lisa Servon and Robert Kaestner (2008). Consumer Financial Literacy and the Impact of Online Banking on the Financial Behavior of Lower-Income Bank Customers, Journal of Consumer Affairs, volume 4, no. 2, Summer, pages 271 - 305.

Lisa Servon (2006). Microenterprise Development in the United States: Current Challenges and New Directions, Economic Development Quarterly, volume 20, pages 351 - 367.

Edwin Melendez and Lisa Servon (2007). Reassessing the Role of Housing in Community-Based Urban Development, Housing Policy Debate, volume 18, issue 4, pages 751 - 783.

Michael Frisch and Lisa Servon (2006). CDC’s and the Changing Context for Urban Community Development: A Review of the Field and the Environment, Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, volume 37, number 4, Winter, pages 88 - 108.

Susan S. Feinstein and Lisa Servon (Eds.) (2005). Gender and Planning, A Reader. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Lisa Servon (2002). Bridging the Digital Divide: Technology, Community, and Public Policy, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 

Lisa Servon (2002). Four Myths about the Digital Divide, Planning Theory and Practice, volume 3, number 2, pages 221 - 244.

Lisa Servon and Marla Nelson (2011). Community Technology Centers: Narrowing the Digital Divide in Low-Income, Urban Communities, Journal of Urban Affairs, volume 23, number 3-4, pages 279 - 290.

Lisa Servon and Jeffrey Doshna (2000). Microenterprise and the Economic Development Toolkit: A Small Part of the Big Picture, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, volume 5, number 3, pages 183 - 208.

Lisa Servon, (1999). Bootstrap Capital: Microenterprises and the American Poor, Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press. 

Featured Content

Lisa Servon was recently interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air about her new book, The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives. The book addresses the changing relationship between banking and customers and how an increasing number of working Americans are using alternative banking services such as check-cashing centers, pawn shops, and in some states, payday lending stores. In addition to gathering data and conducting interviews, Servon worked as a teller at a check-cashing center and payday lending store. The segment is available for download at iTunes or streaming at NPR.org.

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives, by Lisa Servon

PENN WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Aviation Administration: Accident & Incident Data</h3><p><img width="100" height="100" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image80 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 3x" data-max-w="550" data-max-h="550"/>The NTSB issues an accident report following each investigation. These reports are available online for reports issued since 1996, with older reports coming online soon. The reports listing is sortable by the event date, report date, city, and state.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/" target="_blank">http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>