The Impacts of Mandatory Financial Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Study

13 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2010 Last revised: 6 Feb 2014

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Financial education is commonly assumed to affect knowledge and behavior, yet its impacts remain relatively untested. Very low-income families in a subsidized housing program were randomly assigned to a mandatory financial education program and tracked for 12 months. Financial education led to improvements in self-reported behaviors, but no measurable effects on savings or credit, except for participants in education expanding their use of credit, albeit with no evidence of problems in the study period. This study also illustrates the methodological issues that arise in social experiments with small samples, including non-compliance, attrition and self-report bias.

Keywords: Financial education, Asset accumulation, Financial security

JEL Classification: D10, D12, D14, D8, I3

Suggested Citation

Collins, J. Michael, The Impacts of Mandatory Financial Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Study (2013). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 95, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1652344 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1652344

J. Michael Collins (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

United States
6086160369 (Phone)

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