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Financial Education, Savings and Investments: An Overview

Author

Listed:
  • Sue Lewis
  • Flore-Anne Messy

    (OECD)

Abstract

Savings and investments by individuals are important both for personal financial well-being and for economic growth. Many governments try to encourage their citizens to save more, or to save more appropriately, by preferring formal institutions to informal saving and by promoting more diversification. However, there are considerable barriers to saving, including limited access to financial markets by some groups, complexity of financial products and information asymmetries. Knowledge and understanding of saving and investment concepts is particularly low in many countries. In addition, there are behavioural and cultural factors which may limit people’s propensity to save. As a consequence, policy makers have developed several strategies to influence whether and how individuals save. Policy responses typically involve a combination of prudential regulation and consumer protection legislation, financial incentives, financial education and awareness initiatives, as well as behavioural techniques to encourage people into sound saving decisions. Education financière, épargne et investissement : Vue d'ensemble L’épargne et les investissements des particuliers sont importants, à la fois pour le bien-être financier personnel et pour la croissance économique. De nombreux pays s’efforcent d’encourager leurs citoyens à épargner davantage ou mieux, en préconisant des structures officielles plutôt qu’une épargne informelle et en favorisant une plus grande diversification. Il existe toutefois des obstacles considérables à l’épargne, notamment l’accès limité de certains groupes aux marchés financiers, la complexité des produits financiers et les asymétries d’information. La connaissance et la compréhension des notions d’épargne et d’investissement sont particulièrement faibles dans de nombreux pays. En outre, des facteurs comportementaux et culturels peuvent limiter la propension des ménages à épargner. Par conséquent, les responsables publiques élaborent diverses stratégies visant à influer sur l’épargne des particuliers. Les mesures prises associent en général réglementation prudentielle et législation en matière de protection des consommateurs, de même que des incitations financières, des programmes d’éducation financière et de sensibilisation, et des techniques comportementales encourageant les particuliers à prendre des décisions appropriées en matière d’épargne.

Suggested Citation

  • Sue Lewis & Flore-Anne Messy, 2012. "Financial Education, Savings and Investments: An Overview," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 22, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafaad:22-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k94gxrw760v-en
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    connaissance financière; consumer protection; financial education; financial literacy; investissement; investment; protection des consommateurs; saving; éducation financière; épargne;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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