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Factors Associated with Financial Literacy among High School Students


  • 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)


Understanding the financial literacy of young people is an essential prerequisite for developing effective education programmes designed to improve young people’s understanding of personal finance. In this paper, we present results from a survey of high school students which included a financial literacy component, a financial risk tolerance assessment, and basic demographic details. Overall, we find that financial literacy is lowest among financially poorer students, those with less English ability, and those with less academic ability. However, relative poverty and lower English ability were not related to the ability to apply financial knowledge. Thus, while financial education targeted to immigrant groups and the poor may improve overall financial literacy, a broader approach remains necessary. A general form of financial literacy education, beginning at the high school level, may be the key to improving financial literacy in the population in the long term.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P. Cameron & Richard Calderwood & Ashleigh Cox & Steven Lim & Michio Yamaoka, 2013. "Factors Associated with Financial Literacy among High School Students," Working Papers in Economics 13/05, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:13/05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. María José Roa García, 2013. "Financial Education And Behavioral Finance: New Insights Into The Role Of Information In Financial Decisions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 297-315, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bharat Singh Thapa & Surendra Raj Nepal, 2015. "Financial Literacy in Nepal: A Survey Analysis from College Students," NRB Economic Review, Nepal Rastra Bank, Research Department, vol. 27(1), pages 49-74, April.

    More about this item


    financial literacy; financial education; risk tolerance; New Zealand;

    JEL classification:

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

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