The Effect of Financial Education on Students' Consumer Choices: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

De Beckker, K., De Witte, K., & Van Campenhout G. (2021) The Effect of Financial Education on Students' Consumer Choices: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 188, 962–976. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.06.022

42 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021

See all articles by Kenneth De Beckker

Kenneth De Beckker

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); Hasselt University - Faculty of Business Economics

K. De Witte

University of Leuven (KUL); Maastricht University

Geert Van Campenhout

KU Leuven - FEB@HUBrussel

Date Written: June 29, 2021

Abstract

Financial education is often considered to be a necessary condition in order to stimulate better consumer choices. We investigate this claim by analyzing the impact of a financial education course on consumer choices made by 688 students of the 8th and 9th grade. We combine a randomized controlled trial with a discrete choice experiment to analyze how financial education and other critical factors of a purchase decision like price, credit availability, information on product quality, and promotion affect consumer decisions at a young age. We find that students favor purchase options with free gifts and positive consumer reviews. They also prefer cash payments over credit. However, we do not find evidence that this behavior is triggered by financial education. Financial education does not automatically result in better consumer choices, even if the financial education course increased students' financial literacy.

Keywords: Financial education; Consumer Behavior; Randomized controlled trial; Discrete choice experiment

JEL Classification: G53; I24; I21

Suggested Citation

De Beckker, Kenneth and De Witte, Kristof and Van Campenhout, Geert, The Effect of Financial Education on Students' Consumer Choices: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment (June 29, 2021). De Beckker, K., De Witte, K., & Van Campenhout G. (2021) The Effect of Financial Education on Students' Consumer Choices: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 188, 962–976. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.06.022 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3876515

Kenneth De Beckker (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Warmoesberg 26
Brussels, B-1000
Belgium

Hasselt University - Faculty of Business Economics ( email )

Agoralaan - building D
Gebouw D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium

Kristof De Witte

University of Leuven (KUL) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, Vlaams Brabant B-3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.feb.kuleuven.be

Maastricht University ( email )

Boschstraat 24
Maastricht, Vlaams-Brabant 6211 AX
Netherlands
003216326656 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.feb.kuleuven.be

Geert Van Campenhout

KU Leuven - FEB@HUBrussel ( email )

Warmoesberg 26
Brussel, 1000
Belgium

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