Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates

44 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 1998 Last revised: 6 Oct 2010

See all articles by B. Douglas Bernheim

B. Douglas Bernheim

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel M. Garrett

Cornerstone Research

Dean M. Maki

Putnam Investments - Macroeconomic Research

Date Written: July 1997

Abstract

Over the last forty years, the majority of states have adopted consumer education policies, and a sizable minority have specifically mandated that high school students receive instruction on topics related to household financial decision-making (budgeting so forth). In this paper, we attempt to determine whether the curricula arising from these mandates have had any discernable effect on adult decisions regarding saving. Using a unique household survey, we exploit the variation in requirements both across states and over time to identify the effects of interest. The evidence indicates that mandates have significantly raised both exposure to financial curricula and subsequent asset accumulation once exposed students reached adulthood. These effects appear to have been gradual rather than immediate -- a probable reflection of implementation lags.

Suggested Citation

Bernheim, B. Douglas and Garrett, Daniel M. and Maki, Dean, Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates (July 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w6085. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=56018

B. Douglas Bernheim (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Daniel M. Garrett

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Dean Maki

Putnam Investments - Macroeconomic Research ( email )

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