Financial Education Affects Financial Knowledge and Downstream Behaviors

37 Pages Posted: 5 May 2020

See all articles by Tim Kaiser

Tim Kaiser

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - Department of International Economics; University of Koblenz-Landau, Department of Economics; University of Koblenz-Landau

Annamaria Lusardi

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lukas Menkhoff

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics

Carly Urban

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2020

Abstract

We study the rapidly growing literature on the causal effects of financial education programs in a meta-analysis of 76 randomized experiments with a total sample size of over 160,000 individuals. The evidence shows that financial education programs have, on average, positive causal treatment effects on financial knowledge and downstream financial behaviors. Treatment effects are economically meaningful in size, similar to those realized by educational interventions in other domains and are at least three times as large as the average effect documented in earlier work. These results are robust to the method used, restricting the sample to papers published in top economics journals, including only studies with adequate power, and accounting for publication selection bias in the literature. We conclude with a discussion of the cost-effectiveness of financial education interventions.

Keywords: financial education, financial literacy, financial behavior, RCT, meta-analysis

JEL Classification: D14, G53, I21

Suggested Citation

Kaiser, Tim and Lusardi, Annamaria and Menkhoff, Lukas and Urban, Carly, Financial Education Affects Financial Knowledge and Downstream Behaviors (April 2020). Wharton Pension Research Council Working Paper No. 2020-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588131 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3588131

Tim Kaiser

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - Department of International Economics ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

University of Koblenz-Landau, Department of Economics ( email )

56070 Koblenz-Metternich
Germany

University of Koblenz-Landau ( email )

August-Croissant-Str. 5
Landau, 76829
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-koblenz-landau.de/

Annamaria Lusardi (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

George Washington University School of Business
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://business.gwu.edu/profiles/annamaria-lusardi/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Lukas Menkhoff

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
Berlin
Germany

Carly Urban

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States
4069942005 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.montana.edu/urban

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