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The Impact of Financial Literacy Training for Migrants


  • John Gibson

    () (University of Waikato)

  • David McKenzie

    () (World Bank)

  • Bilal Zia

    () (World Bank)


Remittances are a major source of external finance for many developing countries but the cost of sending remittances remains high for many migration corridors. International efforts to lower costs by facilitating the entry of new financial products and new cost comparison information sources rely heavily on the financial literacy of migrants. This paper presents the results of a randomized experiment designed to measure the impact of providing financial literacy training to migrants. Training appears to increase financial knowledge and information seeking behavior and reduces the risk of switching to costlier remittance products but does not change either the frequency or level of remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gibson & David McKenzie & Bilal Zia, 2012. "The Impact of Financial Literacy Training for Migrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1216, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1216

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Gibson & Geua Boe-Gibson & Halahingano Rohorua & David McKenzie, 2007. "Efficient remittance services for development in the Pacific," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 14(2), pages 55-74, December.
    2. David J. McKenzie & Johan Mistiaen, 2009. "Surveying migrant households: a comparison of census-based, snowball and intercept point surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 339-360.
    3. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2008. "Lying About Borrowing," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 510-521, 04-05.
    4. Carpena, Fenella & Cole, Shawn & Shapiro, Jeremy & Zia, Bilal, 2011. "Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5798, The World Bank.
    5. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Steven Stillman, 2013. "Accounting for Selectivity and Duration-Dependent Heterogeneity When Estimating the Impact of Emigration on Incomes and Poverty in Sending Areas," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 247-280.
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    Cited by:

    1. David McKenzie & Dean Yang, 2015. "Evidence on Policies to Increase the Development Impacts of International Migration," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 155-192.
    2. Margaret Miller & Julia Reichelstein & Christian Salas & Bilal Zia, 2015. "Can You Help Someone Become Financially Capable? A Meta-Analysis of the Literature," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 220-246.
    3. Doi, Yoko & McKenzie, David & Zia, Bilal, 2014. "Who you train matters: Identifying combined effects of financial education on migrant households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 39-55.
    4. Karunarathne, Wasana & Gibson, John, 2014. "Financial literacy and remittance behavior of skilled and unskilled immigrant groups in Australia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 54-62.
    5. Tim Kaiser & Lukas Menkhoff, 2017. "Does Financial Education Impact Financial Literacy and Financial Behavior, and If So, When?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 611-630.
    6. Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2015. "Teaching teenagers in finance: Does it work?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 160-174.
    7. John Gibson & Riccardo Scarpa & Halahingano Rohorua, 2013. "Respiratory Health of Pacific Island Immigrants and Preferences for Indoor Air Quality Determinants in New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 13/09, University of Waikato.
    8. Leonardo Bonilla Mejía, 2016. "Choques externos y remesas internacionales en las regiones de Colombia," Documentos de trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 250, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    9. Bruhn, Miriam & Lara Ibarra, Gabriel & McKenzie, David, 2014. "The minimal impact of a large-scale financial education program in Mexico City," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 184-189.
    10. Bruhn, Miriam & Lara Ibarra, Gabriel & McKenzie, David, 2013. "Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular ? Experimental evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6439, The World Bank.
    11. Winter, Joachim & Lührmann, Melanie & Serra Garcia, Marta, 2013. "The effects of financial literacy training: Evidence from a field experiment in German high schools," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79744, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item


    Financial literacy; Remittances; Migration.;

    JEL classification:

    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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