Implications of behavioural economics for financial literacy and public policy
AbstractThis paper summarizes and highlights different methodological approaches to behavioural economics in the context of the conventional economic wisdom and the implications of these different methodological approaches for financial literacy, related institutional change, and public policy. Conventional economics predicts no substantive improvement from improvements to financial literacy. The errors and biases approach to behavioural economics suggests limited improvements to decision making from financial education as errors and biases are largely hardwired in the brain. Government and expert intervention affecting individual choice behaviour is recommended. The evidence suggests that the bounded rationality approach to behavioural economics, with its focus on smart decision makers and the importance institutional and environment constraints on decision making, is the most promising lense through which to analyse financial decision making. From this perspective, financial decision making can be improved by providing decision makers with better quality information presented in a non-complex fashion, an institutional environment conducive to good decisions, an incentive structure that internalize externalities involved in financial decision making, and financial education that will facilitate making the best use of the information at hand within a specific decision-making environment.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).
Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175
Financial literacy; Behavioural economics; Imperfect information; Heuristics; Trust; Nudging; Decision-making environment; Ecological rationality;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
- D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
- G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
- K0 - Law and Economics - - General
- P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
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