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Does Financial Education Matter? Education Literacy among Undergraduates in Malaysia


  • Siew-Yong Yew

    () (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya)

  • Chen-Chen Yong

    () (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya)

  • Kee-Cheok Cheong

    () (Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya)

  • Nai-Peng Tey

    () (Department of Applied Statistics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya)


Low financial literacy is a global phenomenon. In an increasingly materialistic and complex world, lack of financial literacy can lead to financial problems, even among college and university students. Despite the importance of financial literacy among the young, there is still a dearth of studies on financial literacy and behaviour. Hence, a survey was carried out to provide some insights on this topic. A total of 605 students from four institutions of higher learning in Klang Valley, Malaysia were selected using convenience sampling to provide information on financial literacy, attitude and behaviour as well as financial socialisation factors. The survey revealed that college and university students generally have low financial literacy, a tenuous link between knowledge and attitude but a close association between attitude and behaviour. Parental guidance and life experience were significant predictors of financial knowledge but year of study was not an important predictor. Hence, there is a need to promote experiential learning on financial matters, as financial literacy will lead to positive attitude and good practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Siew-Yong Yew & Chen-Chen Yong & Kee-Cheok Cheong & Nai-Peng Tey, 2017. "Does Financial Education Matter? Education Literacy among Undergraduates in Malaysia," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 9(1), pages 43-60, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:umk:journl:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:43-60

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    Insurance financial attitude; financial behaviour; financial knowledge; financial literacy; financial behaviour; undergraduates;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid


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