IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Personal Financial Literacy Among High School Students in New Zealand, Japan and the United States


  • Michael P. Cameron

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Richard Calderwood

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Ashleigh Cox

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Steven Lim

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Michio Yamaoka

    () (Waseda University)


Personal financial literacy is becoming increasingly important in the modern world, especially for young people. In this paper we compare financial literacy of high school students in Hamilton, New Zealand, with samples from Japan and the United States. We compare not only overall financial literacy, but also literacy across five dimensions (or ‘themes’) of financial literacy, and across three cognitive levels. We find that financial literacy is poor overall in all three countries, but is substantially worse in New Zealand and the United States than in Japan. The performance is similar across themes and cognitive levels for U.S. and New Zealand students, but Japanese students perform better mostly in terms of their greater knowledge of terminology and definitions, rather than better comprehension and ability to apply their knowledge. This suggests that all three countries should work harder to develop the financial literacy of their high school students.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P. Cameron & Richard Calderwood & Ashleigh Cox & Steven Lim & Michio Yamaoka, 2013. "Personal Financial Literacy Among High School Students in New Zealand, Japan and the United States," Working Papers in Economics 13/04, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:13/04

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    financial literacy; New Zealand; Japan; United States;

    JEL classification:

    • A21 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Pre-college
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:13/04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brian Silverstone). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.