Financial Literacy in a Buddhist Monastic Setting – Evidence From a Field Study

1 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2022 Last revised: 14 Dec 2022

See all articles by Andreas Hecht

Andreas Hecht

University of Hohenheim; Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

Date Written: December 6, 2022


Financial education can contribute to more sustainable societies and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, with international organizations striving not to exclude any group from measures to enhance financial literacy. But is financial knowledge even relevant in a monastic context? This paper explores this question and provides unprecedented insights into the financial literacy of monks in two Tibetan Buddhist monasteries with remarkable differences in their curricula. It becomes evident that monks are not completely isolated from the realities around them and are increasingly engaging in (digital) financial transactions. The unique evidence shows that financial issues play a role in the lives of monks, with the results regarding the level of financial literacy comparing favorably to the underlying reference study of the Standard & Poor’s Global Financial Literacy Survey.

Keywords: Financial literacy, financial education, sustainability, SDG, monastery, monks, social finance

Suggested Citation

Hecht, Andreas, Financial Literacy in a Buddhist Monastic Setting – Evidence From a Field Study (December 6, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Andreas Hecht (Contact Author)

University of Hohenheim ( email )


Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) ( email )

Winterthur, Zurich

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