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Teaching teenagers in finance: does it work?

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  • Lührmann, Melanie
  • Serra-Garcia, Marta
  • Winter, Joachim

Abstract

Many initiatives worldwide aim at improving financial literacy through targeted education programs, yet there is little evidence regarding their effectiveness. We examine the impact of a short financial education program on teenagers in German high schools. Our findings reveal that the training program significantly increases teenagers' interest in financial matters and their financial knowledge, especially their ability to properly assess the riskiness of assets. Behaviorally, we observe a decrease in the prevalence of self-reported impulse purchases, but at the same time find no evidence of a significant increase in savings. Our data reveals strong gender differences already before adulthood: Girls show less interest in, and self-assessed knowledge of, financial matters, and are less likely to save.

Suggested Citation

  • Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Teaching teenagers in finance: does it work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 14101, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:14101
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruhn, Miriam & de Souza Leao, Luciana & Legovini, Arianna & Marchetti, Rogelio & Zia, Bilal, 2013. "The impact of high school financial education : experimental evidence from Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6723, The World Bank.
    2. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Sekei, Linda Helgesson & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2015. "Teaching through television: Experimental evidence on entrepreneurship education in Tanzania," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 3/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    3. Brugiavini, Agar & Cavapozzi, Danilo & Padula, Mario & Pettinicchi, Yuri, 2015. "Financial education, literacy and investment attitudes," SAFE Working Paper Series 86, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    4. Sandro Ambuehl & B. Douglas Bernheim & Annamaria Lusardi, 2014. "A Method for Evaluating the Quality of Financial Decision Making, with an Application to Financial Education," NBER Working Papers 20618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ute Filipiak & Yabibal M. Walle, 2015. "The Financial Literacy Gender Gap: A Question of Nature or Nurture?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 176, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    6. 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.
    7. Driva, Anastasia & Lührmann, Melanie & Winter, Joachim, 2016. "Gender differences and stereotypes in financial literacy: Off to an early start," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 143-146.
    8. Melanie Lührmann & Marta Serra-Garcia & Joachim Winter, 2014. "The Impact of Financial Education on Adolescents' Intertemporal Choices," CESifo Working Paper Series 4925, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. repec:spr:jbecon:v:87:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11573-017-0853-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cordero, José Manuel & Gil, María & Pedraja Chaparro, Francisco, 2016. "Exploring the effect of financial literacy courses on student achievement: a cross-country approach using PISA 2012 data," MPRA Paper 75474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. repec:kap:decono:v:165:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10645-017-9300-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Ewa Mazurek-Krasodomska & Gabriela Golawska & Anna Rzeczycka, 2017. "Financial Capacity: Do students know what they need to know?," Working Papers 2017-04, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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