Optimizing Financial Education Utilization

Title

Enhancing Links Between Research and Practice to Improve Consumer Financial Education and Well-Being

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2015

Keywords

financial education, financial literacy, financial behavior

Abstract

A recent meta-analysis of the effect of financial literacy and financial education on downstream financial behaviors has shown a weak collective impact of the work of financial education. While the findings are not stellar, they do not support a dismantling of financial education programs and funding. This paper examines the findings of the meta-analysis and discusses the implications for the field. In this discussion, a more thoughtful consideration of the ways to provide financial education and the manner about how to influence behavior is highlighted. In addition, this article proposes a systematic examination of why timely educational approaches should coexist with longer-term financial education programming. The field also needs a more rigorous examination of factors that impact intervention effectiveness, including a call for improved research protocol and evaluation and a plea for greater visibility between researchers and practitioners.

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