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The ABCs of financial education : experimental evidence on attitudes, behavior, and cognitive biases

Author

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  • Carpena,Fenella
  • Cole,Shawn A.
  • Shapiro,Jeremy
  • Zia,Bilal Husnain

Abstract

This paper uses a large scale field experiment in India to study attitudinal, behavioral, and cognitive constraints that stymie the link between financial education and financial outcomes. The study complements financial education with (i) participant classroom motivation with pay for performance on a knowledge test, (ii) intensity of treatment with personalized financial counseling, and (iii) behavioral nudges with financial goal setting. The analysis finds no impact of pay for performance but significant effects of both counseling and goal setting on real financial outcomes. These results identify important complements to financial education that can bridge the gap between financial knowledge and financial behavior change.

Suggested Citation

  • Carpena,Fenella & Cole,Shawn A. & Shapiro,Jeremy & Zia,Bilal Husnain, 2015. "The ABCs of financial education : experimental evidence on attitudes, behavior, and cognitive biases," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7413, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:5:783-787_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alejandro Drexler & Greg Fischer & Antoinette Schoar, 2014. "Keeping It Simple: Financial Literacy and Rules of Thumb," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 1-31, April.
    3. Shawn Cole & Thomas Sampson & Bilal Zia, 2011. "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1933-1967, December.
    4. Margaret Miller & Julia Reichelstein & Christian Salas & Bilal Zia, 2015. "Can You Help Someone Become Financially Capable? A Meta-Analysis of the Literature," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 220-246.
    5. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    6. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-643, October.
    7. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
    8. Tim Fry & Sandra Mihajilo & Roslyn Russell & Robert Brooks, 2008. "The Factors Influencing Saving in a Matched Savings Program: Goals, Knowledge of Payment Instruments, and Other Behavior," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 234-250, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:onb:oenbmp:y:2018:i:q1/18:b:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Miriam Bruhn & Bilal Zia, 2013. "Stimulating managerial capital in emerging markets: the impact of business training for young entrepreneurs," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 232-266, June.
    3. Seshan, Ganesh & Yang, Dean, 2014. "Motivating migrants: A field experiment on financial decision-making in transnational households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 119-127.
    4. Tim Kaiser & Lukas Menkhoff, 2017. "Does Financial Education Impact Financial Literacy and Financial Behavior, and If So, When?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 611-630.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Curriculum&Instruction; Financial Literacy; Effective Schools and Teachers; Access&Equity in Basic Education;

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