Financial Education Affects Financial Knowledge and Downstream Behaviors

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We study the rapidly growing literature on the causal effects of financial education programs in a meta-analysis of 76 randomized experiments with a total sample size of over 160,000 individuals. Many of these experiments are published in top economics and finance journals. The evidence shows that financial education programs have, on average, positive causal treatment effects on financial knowledge and downstream financial behaviors. Treatment effects are economically meaningful in size, similar to those realized by educational interventions in other domains, and robust to accounting for publication bias in the literature. We also discuss the cost-effectiveness of financial education interventions.

Journal of Financial Economics, 145(2A):255-272
Tim Kaiser
Tim Kaiser
Professor, Department of Business and Economics

My research interests are in the area of applied microeconomics, especially economics of education, development economics, behavioral economics and household finance.