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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20229
Note: AG
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  1. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 413-17, May.
  2. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M., 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/27, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. 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.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 18952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Rapoport, Amnon, 1988. "Experimental Tests of the Separation Theorem and the Capital Asset Pricing Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 500-519, June.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Gaspar Mairal, 2008. "Narratives of risk," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1-2), pages 41-54, January.
  13. 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).
  14. Annamaria Lusardi, 2012. "Numeracy, financial literacy, and financial decision-making," NBER Working Papers 17821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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