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

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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 reduced the virtual demand for cash, and increased 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 was sizable, and that the progress in financial literacy was stronger in subgroups which exhibited lower ex-ante knowledge levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 210.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 07 Sep 2011
Date of revision: 07 Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:210

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Web: http://www.ceistorvergata.it

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Keywords: financial education; financial literacy; demand for money balances; randomized experiment.;

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References

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  1. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
  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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Leonardo Becchetti & Fabio Pisani, 2011. "Financial education on secondary school students: the randomized experiment revisited," Econometica Working Papers wp34, Econometica.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19722, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Melanie Lührmann & Marta Serra-Garcia & Joachim Winter, 2014. "The Impact of Financial Education on Adolescents' Intertemporal Choices," CESifo Working Paper Series 4925, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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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