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Financial education at the workplace: evidence from a survey of Federal Reserve Bank employees

  • Kelly Edmiston
  • Mary Gillett Fisher

There are a number of possible explanations for the seemingly irresponsible financial behavior of many Americans. In this paper we argue that an important explanation is simply ignorance: consumers often make poor financial decisions because they do not know how to make good ones. In particular, we stress that consumers may not realize the importance of saving for the future, and that they may not perceive the trouble they can bring upon themselves by incurring large amounts of unsecured debt. Using survey data from employees of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, we demonstrate that, at least for people sharing the characteristics of these employees, financial position is highly related to knowledge of personal finance. We also demonstrate a relationship between financial education and financial knowledge and behavior for this group.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Community Affairs Research Working Paper with number 2006-02.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkcw:2006-02
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  1. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," Working Paper Series 0343, European Central Bank.
  2. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
  6. Faia, Ester & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2004. "Ramsey monetary policy and international relative prices," Working Paper Series 0344, European Central Bank.
  7. Michael E. Staten & Gregory E. Elliehausen & E. Christopher Lundquist, 2003. "The impact of credit counseling on subsequent borrower credit usage and payment behavior," Proceedings 881, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
  9. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett & Dean M. Maki, 1997. "Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates," NBER Working Papers 6085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Chen, Haiyang & Volpe, Ronald P., 1998. "An Analysis of Personal Financial Literacy Among College Students," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 107-128.
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