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Financial education and investment attitudes in high schools: evidence from a randomized experiment

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  • Leonardo Becchetti
  • Stefano Caiazza
  • Decio Coviello

Abstract

We experimentally study the effect of financial education on investment attitudes in a large sample of high school students in Italy. Students in the treated classes were taught a course in finance and interviewed before and after the study, while controls were only interviewed. Our principal result is that the difference-in-difference estimates of the effect of the course are not statistically significant. However, the course in finance reduces the virtual demand for cash and increases the level of financial literacy and the propensity to read (and the capacity to understand) economic articles in both treated and control classes compared with pre-treatment baseline levels. A breakdown of the cognitive process, which is statistically significant for the classes treated, suggests that error and ignorance reduction is sizable and that the progress in financial literacy is stronger in subgroups which exhibit lower ex ante knowledge levels.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09603107.2013.767977
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2013)
Issue (Month): 10 (May)
Pages: 817-836

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Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:23:y:2013:i:10:p:817-836

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References

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  1. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2011. "Investment in Financial Literacy and Saving Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Miller, Margaret & Reichelstein, Julia & Salas, Christian & Zia, Bilal, 2014. "Can you help someone become financially capable ? a meta-analysis of the literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6745, The World Bank.
  2. Angela Romagnoli & Maurizio Trifilidis, 2013. "Does financial education at school work? Evidence from Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 155, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Bruhn, Miriam & de Souza Leao, Luciana & Legovini, Arianna & Marchetti, Rogelio & Zia, Bilal, 2013. "The impact of high school financial education : experimental evidence from Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6723, The World Bank.
  4. Becchetti, Leonardo & Pisani, Fabio, 2012. "Financial education on secondary school students: the randomized experiment revisited," AICCON Working Papers 98-2012, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  5. Winter, Joachim & Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2013. "The effects of financial literacy training: Evidence from a field experiment in German high schools," Munich Reprints in Economics 19722, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Teaching teenagers in finance: does it work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 14101, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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