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Keeping it simple: financial literacy and rules of thumb

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  • Drexler, Alejandro
  • Fischer, Gregory
  • Schoar, Antoinette

Abstract

Micro-entrepreneurs often lack the financial literacy required to make important financial decisions. We conducted a randomized evaluation with a bank in the Dominican Republic to compare the impact of two distinct programs: standard accounting training versus a simplified, rule-of-thumb training that taught basic financial heuristics. The rule-of-thumb training significantly improved firms' financial practices, objective reporting quality, and revenues. For micro-entrepreneurs with lower skills or poor initial financial practices, the impact of the rule-of-thumb training was significantly larger than that of the standard accounting training, suggesting that simplifying training programs might improve their effectiveness for less sophisticated individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Drexler, Alejandro & Fischer, Gregory & Schoar, Antoinette, 2014. "Keeping it simple: financial literacy and rules of thumb," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 46797, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:46797
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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