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

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  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Daniel M. Garrett
  • Dean M. Maki

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6085.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Publication status: published as Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M. & Maki, Dean M., 2001. "Education and saving:: The long-term effects of high school financial curriculum mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 435-465, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6085

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  1. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2009. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 24067, 7.
  2. Patrick J. Bayer & B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Employers," Working Papers 96011, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett, 1996. "The Determinants and Consequences of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Households," Working Papers 96007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1999. "Taxation and Saving," Working Papers 99007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," Working Papers 710, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  7. Hoxby, Caroline Minter, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718, August.
  8. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  10. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-99, April.
  11. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Split Sample Instrumental Variables," Working Papers 699, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 1993. "Private Saving and Public Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 73-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-35, April.
  14. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1996. "Rethinking Saving Incentives," Working Papers 96009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  15. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
  16. Robert L. Clark & Sylvester J. Schieber, . "Factors Affecting Participation Rates and Contribution Levels in 401(k) Plans," Pension Research Council Working Papers 96-8, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  17. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  18. Douglas D. Bernheim, . "Financial Illiteracy, Education, and Retirement Saving," Pension Research Council Working Papers 96-7, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  19. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
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