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The Determinants and Consequences of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Households

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  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Daniel M. Garrett

Abstract

In recent years, the United States has witnessed significant growth in programs of financial and retirement education in the workplace. This phenomenon provides an opportunity to assess the effects of targeted education programs on financial choices. This paper uses a novel household survey to develop econometric evidence on the efficacy of employer-based financial education. While our primary focus concerns the effects of these programs on saving (both in general and for the purposes of retirement), we also examine a number of collateral issues. These include the circumstances under which employers offer, and employees participate in, financial education programs, and the effects of these programs on sources of information and advice concerning retirement planning. Our findings indicate that employer-based retirement education strongly influences household financial behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett, 1996. "The Determinants and Consequences of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Households," NBER Working Papers 5667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5667
    Note: AG PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    2. Patrick J. Bayer & B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 2009. "The Effects Of Financial Education In The Workplace: Evidence From A Survey Of Employers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 605-624, October.
    3. B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 1993. "Private Saving and Public Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 73-110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1996. "Rethinking Saving Incentives," Working Papers 96009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    5. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Do Saving Incentives Work?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 85-180.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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