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Do financial education programs work?

  • Ian Hathaway
  • Sameer Khatiwada

In this paper we provide a comprehensive critical analysis of research that has investigated the impact of financial education programs on consumer financial behavior. In light of the evidence, we recommend that future programs be highly targeted towards a specific audience and area of financial activity (e.g. homeownership or credit card counseling, etc.), and that this training occurs just before the corresponding financial event (e.g. purchase of a home or use of a credit card, etc.).

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0803.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0803
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  1. 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.
  2. John Y. Campbell & João F. Cocco, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1449-1494.
  3. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
  5. Marianne A. Hilgert & Jeanne M. Hogarth & Sondra G. Beverly, 2003. "Household financial management: the connection between knowledge and behavior," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 309-322.
  6. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura, 1995. "Understanding why high income households save more than low income households," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 106, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Sandra F. Braunstein & Carolyn Welch, 2002. "Financial literacy: an overview of practice, research, and policy," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Nov, pages 445-457.
  9. Matthew Martin, 2007. "A literature review on the effectiveness of financial education," Working Paper 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. 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.
  11. Margaret Clancy & Michal Grinstein-Weiss & Mark Schreiner, 2001. "Financial Education and Savings Outcomes in Individual Development Accounts," HEW 0108001, EconWPA, revised 27 Dec 2001.
  12. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, 08.
  13. Richard M. Todd, 2002. "Financial literacy education: a potential tool for reducing predatory lending?," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec., pages 6-9, 34-36.
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