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Visual Tools and Narratives: New Ways to Improve Financial Literacy

  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Anya Savikhin Samek
  • Arie Kapteyn
  • Lewis Glinert
  • Angela Hung
  • Aileen Heinberg

We developed and experimentally evaluated four novel educational programs delivered online: an informational brochure, a visual interactive tool, a written narrative, and a video narrative. The programs were designed to inform people about risk diversification, an essential concept for financial decision- making. The effectiveness of these programs was evaluated using the RAND American Life Panel. Participants were exposed to one of the programs, and then asked to answer questions measuring financial literacy and self-efficacy. All of the programs were found to be effective at increasing self-efficacy, and several improved financial literacy, providing new evidence for the value of programs designed to help individuals make financial decisions. The video was more effective at improving financial literacy scores than the written narrative, highlighting the power of online media in financial education.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20229.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20229
Note: AG
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  1. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessi, 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," DNB Working Papers 146, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles D., 2013. "Discounting financial literacy: Time preferences and participation in financial education programs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 159-174.
  3. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," CeRP Working Papers 72, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  4. Aileen Heinberg & Angela A. Hung & Arie Kapteyn & Annamaria Lusardi & Anya Savikhin Samek & Joanne Yoong, 2014. "Five Steps to Planning Success. Experimental Evidence from U.S. Households," NBER Working Papers 20203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gaspar Mairal, 2008. "Narratives of risk," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1-2), pages 41-54, January.
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  7. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," CeRP Working Papers 134, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  8. Annamaria Lusardi, 2012. "Numeracy, financial literacy, and financial decision-making," NBER Working Papers 17821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Angela A. Hung & Erik Meijer & Kata Mihaly & Joanne Yoong, 2009. "Building Up, Spending Down: Financial Literacy, Retirement Savings Management, and Decumulation," Working Papers 712, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  10. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2008. "Discounting Financial Literacy: Time Preferences and Participation in Financial Education Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 3507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett & Dean M. Maki, 1997. "Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates," Working Papers 97012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  12. Christine Kaufmann & Martin Weber & Emily Haisley, 2013. "The Role of Experience Sampling and Graphical Displays on One's Investment Risk Appetite," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 323-340, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Michael Gutter & Zeynep Copur & Selena Garrison, 2009. "Which Students Are More Likely to Experience Financial Socialization Opportunities? Exploring the Relationship between Financial Behaviors and Financial Well-Being of College Students," NFI Working Papers 2009-WP-07, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
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