Freeing Financial Education Via Tablets: Experimental Evidence from Colombia

109 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2019

See all articles by Orazio Attanasio

Orazio Attanasio

University College London - Department of Economics; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew Bird

Universidad del Pacífico - Centro de Investigación (CIUP)

Lina Cardona-Sosa

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Pablo Lavado

Universidad del Pacifico

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

Financial knowledge is critical for making sound decisions that foster financial health and protect consumers from predation. A widely-used tool for building this capability is financial education. Yet evidence suggests that conventional approaches which teach concepts in classroom-style settings are ineffective and expensive at scale, especially for lower-income users. More recent findings indicate that customizing financial education to the needs, interests, and location of participants may increase impact, though doing so in a cost-effective and scalable way remains challenging. This randomized evaluation of a tablet-based financial education program with mostly female recipients of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in Colombia offers evidence for how to design and scale an effective digital-based financial education program. Results indicate that the LISTA Initiative had significant positive impacts on financial knowledge, attitudes, practices, and performance, increasing for poorer, less educated, and more rural populations, with users exhibiting increased financial health over two years later. Critical mechanisms included well-designed content and a social learning component. Yet the longer-term impact on formal financial inclusion was limited, suggesting the possible benefits of combining supply-side solutions with financial education interventions.

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Suggested Citation

Attanasio, Orazio and Bird, Matthew and Cardona-Sosa, Lina and Lavado, Pablo, Freeing Financial Education Via Tablets: Experimental Evidence from Colombia (June 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25929. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3403909

Orazio Attanasio (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7679 5880 (Phone)
+44 20 7916 2775 (Fax)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Matthew Bird

Universidad del Pacífico - Centro de Investigación (CIUP) ( email )

Av. Sánchez Cerro 2098
Jesús María
Lima
Peru

Lina Cardona-Sosa

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Pablo Lavado

Universidad del Pacifico ( email )

Av. Salaverry 2020
Región Metropolitana
Lima 18, Lima 11
Peru

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