Consumer Financial Education and Financial Capability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



financial education program outcomes, financial knowledge, financial behavior


The purpose of this study was to explore potential effects of financial education on the financial capability of American consumers. Data from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study were used to test the hypothesis that financial education is positively associated with financial capability. Four financial literacy and behavior variables were used to form a financial capability index. Multivariate linear regression results showed that, after controlling for demographic and financial variables, respondents who ever received financial education had higher scores in all financial capability indicators (objective financial literacy, subjective financial literacy, desirable financial behavior, perceived financial capability, and the financial capability index). In addition, high school, college, and workplace financial education variables showed positive associations with these financial capability indicators. Additional state comparison analyses provided evidence suggesting high school financial education may have direct impacts and spillover effects on consumer financial capability.