Investigação



Políticas de inclusão e formação financeira (2013)

Esta publicação sistematiza as orientações e linhas de ação da agenda internacional sobre inclusão e formação financeira e apresenta as principais medidas adotadas nos países de língua portuguesa. Foi elaborada na sequência do encontro promovido pelo Banco de Portugal com os Bancos Centrais dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (BCPLP), que teve lugar no dia 11 de julho de 2013, em Lisboa, sobre o papel dos bancos centrais na promoção da inclusão e da formação financeira. No encontro participaram todos os bancos centrais dos países de língua portuguesa: Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe, Banco Central de Timor-Leste, Banco Central do Brasil, Banco Central dos Estados da África Ocidental (Guiné-Bissau), Banco de Cabo Verde, Banco de Moçambique, Banco de Portugal e Banco Nacional de Angola.

Educação financeira nas escolas (2012)

A literacia financeira dos cidadãos tem vindo a ser considerada cada vez mais importante para a gestão das finanças pessoais e para a estabilidade financeira. Este facto tem originado o desenvolvimento de iniciativas, em diversos países, com vista à sua promoção, geralmente no âmbito de estratégias nacionais de formação financeira. Uma das iniciativas que, pela importância e desafios colocados na concretização, tem merecido particular destaque consiste no desenvolvimento de programas de educação financeira nas escolas. Este artigo analisa alguns aspetos particularmente relevantes para a introdução e avaliação da educação financeira nos currículos escolares, baseando-se nas boas práticas internacionais e na experiência dos vários países quanto à forma como os principais desafios foram superados.

Relatório do Inquérito à Literacia Financeira da População Portuguesa (2010)

O Inquérito avalia as atitudes e comportamentos da população na gestão das suas finanças pessoais e os conhecimentos financeiros básicos. Identifica também áreas temáticas e grupos populacionais onde há um maior défice de informação e formação financeira.

Estratégias Nacionais De Literacia Financeira (2010)

A literacia financeira permite aos cidadãos a tomada de decisões financeiras informadas. Entendido nesta perspectiva, o conceito vai além dos meros conhecimentos financeiros, envolvendo também a forma como esses conhecimentos afectam atitudes e comportamentos dos cidadãos na tomada de decisões financeiras. No reconhecimento da importância da literacia para uma gestão responsável das finanças pessoais e, consequentemente, para o bem‑estar dos cidadãos e a maior estabilidade macro-económica e financeira, vários países têm vindo a desenvolver iniciativas com vista à sua promoção. Pretende‑se deste modo contribuir para capacitar a população a melhor responder às exigências colocadas pela complexidade e diversidade dos produtos financeiros.

O Perfil do Investidor Particular Português (2009)

Estudo da CMVM publicado em 2009 sobre o perfil do investidor particular português tendo como base da análise um inquérito realizado entre 23 de Janeiro e 23 de Abril de 2006. Foram efetuadas entrevistas diretas a 15.149 famílias, escolhidas aleatoriamente, residentes em localidades do Continente e das Regiões Autónomas com mais de 100 habitantes.

O Perfil do Investidor Particular Português: O Nível de Educação Financeira dos Investidores

Estudo da CMVM que analisa a perceção dos investidores quanto à sua própria formação e nível de conhecimentos sobre o funcionamento dos mercados financeiros, elaborado com base em inquéritos feitos aos mesmos.

2º Inquérito da CMVM sobre o Perfil do Investidor Português Online (2005)

Inquérito da CMVM, publicado em 2005, através do qual pretende caracterizar o perfil do investidor português que utiliza a Internet como meio preferencial para a realização de transações nos mercados financeiros.

Comunicação da Comissão Europeia relativa à educação financeira (2007)

A Comissão considera a educação financeira fundamental com vista à constituição de um mercado único e deseja, a esse respeito, incitar os cidadãos europeus a adquirirem os conhecimentos rudimentares em finanças pessoais. A presente comunicação destina-se a definir os princípios de base para programas nacionais de educação financeira de qualidade, bem como a apresentar as iniciativas efectuadas pela União Europeia neste domínio.

Promoting financial inclusion through financial education (2013)

Financial inclusion is an international policy priority and demand-side initiatives including financial education have an important role to play in helping individuals to access and use appropriate, formal financial products. In 2010, under the support of the Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy and Education, the OECD/INFE launched a project on the role of financial education in financial inclusion.
The results of this work show that low levels of financial inclusion are associated with lower levels of financial literacy. Recent research, including a broad stock take of INFE members, permitted to identify various ways in which policy makers are developing financial education policies for financial inclusion. Based on a review of approaches taken to deliver financial education for financial inclusion, this report highlights challenges faced and solutions found, and discusses the main lessons learnt and potential way forward

Advancing national strategies for financial education (2013)

Jointly published by Russia's G20 Presidency and the OECD, this report monitors progress by the governments of the world’s major economies in implementing national strategies for improving financial education. It includes contributions by twenty one G20 member economies and invited countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) as well as the European Union.
The publication highlights the main features of country experiences and in particular the rationale for the development of national strategies, their status in the countries covered in the publication, their main objectives and their founding elements. It also points to the different governing structures established to design and implement national strategies, the role of stakeholders, and their main implementing directions and challenges. Finally, it proposes possible areas for further policy action.

Financial education, savings and investments: an overview (2013)

Savings and investments by individuals are important both for personal financial well-being and for economic growth. Many governments try to encourage their citizens to save more, or to save more appropriately, by preferring formal institutions to informal saving and by promoting more diversification. However, there are considerable barriers to saving, including limited access to financial markets by some groups, complexity of financial products and information asymmetries. Knowledge and understanding of saving and investment concepts is particularly low in many countries. In addition, there are behavioural and cultural factors which may limit people’s propensity to save. As a consequence, policy makers have developed several strategies to influence whether and how individuals save. Policy responses typically involve a combination of prudential regulation and consumer protection legislation, financial incentives, financial education and awareness initiatives, as well as behavioural techniques to encourage people into sound saving decisions.

INFE high-level principles for the evaluation on financial education programmes (2012)

Monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes is essential to be certain that they are effective, to identify where and how they can be improved and to check whether resources are well used. Evaluation evidence can help identifying the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.
These OECD INFE High-level Principles for the Evaluation of Financial Education Programmes provide policy makers, programme designers and other stakeholders with information about the importance of monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes. They cover a wide variety of financial education provisions, from individual courses and seminars to large scale programmes and media campaigns.
Because the evaluation of national strategies requires evaluation of the component parts, these principles and recommendations are of relevance in all countries, regardless of whether there is a national financial literacy strategy.

OECD-INFE High-level principles on national strategies for financial education (2012)

An increasing amount of attention and resources are being spent on financial education by governments and public authorities worldwide. As the amount of resources spent has increased, so has the importance of ensuring the efficiency and relevance of these programmes and their long term impact. In this respect, the establishment of co-ordinated and tailored strategies at national level has been widely considered to be one of the best means to achieve these efficiency goals while avoiding duplication of resources and efforts. However such national endeavours have often proved to be challenging, notably due to limited long-term commitment from stakeholders, difficult co‑operation between them, competing interests and mandates, lack of financial and in-kind resources and other implementation issues.
The High-level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education complement the recommendations and standards already produced by the OECD and its INFE.

Current Status of National Strategies for Financial Education: A Comparative Analysis and Relevant Practices, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.16 (2012)

In both developing and developed economies, the awareness of the importance of financial education led to the development of an increasing number of tailored national strategies for financial education. These frameworks promote a smoother and more sustainable co-operation between interested parties and stakeholders, avoid duplication of resources and allow the development of articulated and tailored roadmaps with measurable and realistic objectives based on dedicated national assessments. The comparative analysis shows how countries overcame a series of challenges such as lack of resources, the identification a leading institution, gathering all stakeholders around common objectives and move efficiently to the operational phase. The experiences analysed in this report provide a global picture of the situation in 2011/12 and a selection of relevant solutions and tools to address these issues in a replicable way.

Measuring Financial Literacy: Results of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) Pilot Study, OECD Working Paper on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, n.15 (2012)

This paper presents the findings from an OECD International Network on Financial Education pilot study undertaken in 14 countries. The results highlight a lack of financial knowledge amongst a sizeable proportion of the population in each of the countries surveyed. Furthermore, there is considerable room for improvement in terms of financial behaviour. Attitudes are shown to vary widely.

Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.14 (2012)

The potential implications of gender differences in financial literacy are far-reaching. This paper describes the findings of a review of the literature on gender differences in financial literacy with the aim to better understand their causes and consequences, as well as possible policy responses. It provides a starting point to collect further evidence, develop analytical work and case studies, and to identify areas that deserve further research, thus paving the way for future work to be developed by the OECD and the INFE. A relatively broad range of empirical literature documents the existence of gender differences in financial literacy in various countries and along several dimensions. On average, women perform worse than men on tests of financial knowledge and have less confidence in their financial skills. However, so far policy awareness of the existence and relevance of these differences is quite low. The literature (albeit so far limited) on what drives such gender differences points to several potentially complementary explanations including differences in skills, attitudes, and opportunities. In this context, the contribution of improved and targeted financial education programmes aimed at better addressing women’s needs is promising and worth exploring further.

Evaluating financial education programmes (2011)

Monitoring and evaluation is essential in order to be certain that a programme is effective, to identify areas for improvement and to check that the initiative makes good use of resources. Evaluation evidence can help to identify the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.

Framework for the development of financial literacy baseline surveys - OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.1 (2009)

There is growing concern, across a wide range of countries, about the levels of financial capability of consumers. A large number of initiatives are therefore being developed to address this issue; and countries are increasingly rolling out national strategies on financial capability. To do this effectively requires evidence on the areas where financial capability in the population is low and an identification of the extent to which these should be addressed by financial education and/or consumer protection measures. Yet there is remarkably little robust information in this area and none that is comparable across countries. This report is aimed at informing the work of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) in this field, by 1) elaborating a set of draft good practice guidelines for the design of national financial literacy surveys and; 2) proposing guidelines for the design of a core set of good practice questions for embedding within any national surveys aimed at measuring financial literacy levels.

Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection: Overlooked Aspects of the Crisis (2009)

Financial services firms must make sure their customers understand what they are letting themselves in for when they sign up for mortgages, consumer loans and other products, under new OECD guidelines designed to avoid a repeat of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch that sent the world economy into recession.

Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit (2009) (PDF)

RECOMMENDS that Members promote financial awareness and education relating to credit and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part.

Recommendation on good practices for enhanced risk awareness and education on insurance issues (2008) (PDF)

Recomends that Member Countries promote awareness and education in relation to risks and insurance issues and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Enhanced Risk Awareness and Education on Insurance Issues that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part

OECD Good Practices for Financial Education Relating to Private Pensions (2008) (PDF)

Recommends that Member Countries promote financial awareness and education relating to private pensions and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Financial Education relating to Private Pensions which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, and of which they form an integral part.

Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness (2005) (PDF)

Recommends that Member countries promote financial education and awareness and in this respect that governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the principles and good practices for financial education and awareness which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation and form an integral part thereof.

Can you help someone become financially capable? A meta-analysis of the literature (2014)

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Financial literacy around the world: an overview of the evidence with practical suggestions for the way forward (2013)

Financial literacy programs are fast becoming a key ingredient in financial policy reform worldwide. Yet, what is financial literacy exactly and what do we know of its effectiveness? This paper collects insights from the literature thus far and summarizes global evidence on financial literacy, its correlates, and existing and upcoming causal investigations. The authors conclude with a synthesis of policy advice and practical suggestions for the way forward in this fast growing area of research.

Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions: evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media (2013)

This paper exploits the emotional connections and viewer attentiveness of mainstream media to evaluate the economic impact of financial education messages on debt management delivered through a popular television soap opera in South Africa. The study uses a symmetric encouragement design to compare outcomes of individuals who were randomly assigned to watch a soap opera with financial messages, "Scandal!" to those of individuals who were invited to watch a similar soap opera without financial messages, "Muvhango." Both shows overlapped in evening primetime and had similar past viewership profiles. The financial storyline spanned two months and featured one of the leading characters of the show borrowing excessively and irresponsibly through hire-purchase, gambling, and ending up in financial distress; and eventually seeking help to find her way out. Two intermediate and one final follow-up surveys were conducted as part of the study. The analysis finds individuals assigned to watch Scandal had significantly higher financial knowledge of the issues highlighted in the soap opera storyline, in particular messages delivered by the leading character. On behaviour, Scandal viewers were almost twice more likely to borrow from formal sources, less likely to engage in gambling, and less prone to enter hire purchase agreements. Messages promoting a national debt mediation helpline delivered by an external character did not sustain traction beyond immediate interest. Three qualitative focus groups highlight the importance of emotional connections with the leading character in motivating behaviour change.

The impact of high school financial education: experimental evidence from Brazil (2013)

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular? Experimental evidence from Mexico (2013)

Take-up of voluntary financial education programs is typically extremely low. This paper reports on randomized experiments around a large financial literacy course offered in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up, and to measure the impact of financial education. It documents that the general public displays little interest in such courses and that participation is low even among individuals who express interest in financial education. The paper experimentally investigates barriers to take-up, and finds no impact of relaxing reputational or logistical constraints and no evidence that time inconsistency is the reason for limited participation. Even relatively sizeable monetary incentives get less than 40 percent of interested individuals invited to training to attend. Using a randomized encouragement design, the authors measure the impact of the course on financial knowledge and behaviour. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge and a 9 percentage point increase in saving outcomes, but no impact on borrowing behaviour. Administrative data indicate that the savings impact is relatively short-lived. The results suggest people are making optimal choices not to attend financial education courses, and point to the limits of using general purpose courses to improve financial behaviour for the general population.

Financial literacy and the financial crisis (2012)

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their chances of having sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, where consumer loans grew at an astounding rate -- from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 -- to examine the importance of financial literacy and its relationship with behavior. The survey asked questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), and spending behavior. The paper studies the consequences of greater financial literacy on the use of financial products and financial planning. Even though consumer borrowing rose rapidly in Russia, only 41 percent of the survey respondents understood how interest compounding worked and only 46 percent could answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Individuals with higher rates of financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having more unspent income at the end of the month and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and the availability of unspent income is more evident during the financial crisis, suggesting that better financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy (2011)

A growing body of literature examines the causal impact of financial literacy on individual, household, and firm level outcomes. This paper unpacks the mechanism of impact by focusing on the first link in the causal chain. Specifically, it studies the experimental impact of financial literacy on three distinct dimensions of financial knowledge. The analysis finds that financial literacy does not immediately enable individuals to discern costs and rewards that require high numeracy skills, but it does significantly improve basic awareness of financial choices and attitudes toward financial decisions. Monetary incentives do not induce better performance, suggesting cognitive constraints rather than lack of attention are a key barrier to improving financial knowledge. These results illuminate the strengths and limitations of financial literacy training, which can inform the design and anticipated effects of such programs.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies (2010)

This Working Paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation and Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However, independent of the specific institutional structures, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Consumers should also receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Also, financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. In addition, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it.

O Perfil do Investidor Particular Português (2009)

Estudo da CMVM publicado em 2009 sobre o perfil do investidor particular português tendo como base da análise um inquérito realizado entre 23 de Janeiro e 23 de Abril de 2006. Foram efetuadas entrevistas diretas a 15.149 famílias, escolhidas aleatoriamente, residentes em localidades do Continente e das Regiões Autónomas com mais de 100 habitantes.

O Perfil do Investidor Particular Português: O Nível de Educação Financeira dos Investidores

Estudo da CMVM que analisa a perceção dos investidores quanto à sua própria formação e nível de conhecimentos sobre o funcionamento dos mercados financeiros, elaborado com base em inquéritos feitos aos mesmos.

2º Inquérito da CMVM sobre o Perfil do Investidor Português Online (2005)

Inquérito da CMVM, publicado em 2005, através do qual pretende caracterizar o perfil do investidor português que utiliza a Internet como meio preferencial para a realização de transações nos mercados financeiros.

Comunicação da Comissão Europeia relativa à educação financeira (2007)

A Comissão considera a educação financeira fundamental com vista à constituição de um mercado único e deseja, a esse respeito, incitar os cidadãos europeus a adquirirem os conhecimentos rudimentares em finanças pessoais. A presente comunicação destina-se a definir os princípios de base para programas nacionais de educação financeira de qualidade, bem como a apresentar as iniciativas efectuadas pela União Europeia neste domínio.

Promoting financial inclusion through financial education (2013)

Financial inclusion is an international policy priority and demand-side initiatives including financial education have an important role to play in helping individuals to access and use appropriate, formal financial products. In 2010, under the support of the Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy and Education, the OECD/INFE launched a project on the role of financial education in financial inclusion.
The results of this work show that low levels of financial inclusion are associated with lower levels of financial literacy. Recent research, including a broad stock take of INFE members, permitted to identify various ways in which policy makers are developing financial education policies for financial inclusion. Based on a review of approaches taken to deliver financial education for financial inclusion, this report highlights challenges faced and solutions found, and discusses the main lessons learnt and potential way forward

Advancing national strategies for financial education (2013)

Jointly published by Russia's G20 Presidency and the OECD, this report monitors progress by the governments of the world’s major economies in implementing national strategies for improving financial education. It includes contributions by twenty one G20 member economies and invited countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) as well as the European Union.
The publication highlights the main features of country experiences and in particular the rationale for the development of national strategies, their status in the countries covered in the publication, their main objectives and their founding elements. It also points to the different governing structures established to design and implement national strategies, the role of stakeholders, and their main implementing directions and challenges. Finally, it proposes possible areas for further policy action.

Financial education, savings and investments: an overview (2013)

Savings and investments by individuals are important both for personal financial well-being and for economic growth. Many governments try to encourage their citizens to save more, or to save more appropriately, by preferring formal institutions to informal saving and by promoting more diversification. However, there are considerable barriers to saving, including limited access to financial markets by some groups, complexity of financial products and information asymmetries. Knowledge and understanding of saving and investment concepts is particularly low in many countries. In addition, there are behavioural and cultural factors which may limit people’s propensity to save. As a consequence, policy makers have developed several strategies to influence whether and how individuals save. Policy responses typically involve a combination of prudential regulation and consumer protection legislation, financial incentives, financial education and awareness initiatives, as well as behavioural techniques to encourage people into sound saving decisions.

INFE high-level principles for the evaluation on financial education programmes (2012)

Monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes is essential to be certain that they are effective, to identify where and how they can be improved and to check whether resources are well used. Evaluation evidence can help identifying the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.
These OECD INFE High-level Principles for the Evaluation of Financial Education Programmes provide policy makers, programme designers and other stakeholders with information about the importance of monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes. They cover a wide variety of financial education provisions, from individual courses and seminars to large scale programmes and media campaigns.
Because the evaluation of national strategies requires evaluation of the component parts, these principles and recommendations are of relevance in all countries, regardless of whether there is a national financial literacy strategy.

OECD-INFE High-level principles on national strategies for financial education (2012)

An increasing amount of attention and resources are being spent on financial education by governments and public authorities worldwide. As the amount of resources spent has increased, so has the importance of ensuring the efficiency and relevance of these programmes and their long term impact. In this respect, the establishment of co-ordinated and tailored strategies at national level has been widely considered to be one of the best means to achieve these efficiency goals while avoiding duplication of resources and efforts. However such national endeavours have often proved to be challenging, notably due to limited long-term commitment from stakeholders, difficult co‑operation between them, competing interests and mandates, lack of financial and in-kind resources and other implementation issues.
The High-level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education complement the recommendations and standards already produced by the OECD and its INFE.

Current Status of National Strategies for Financial Education: A Comparative Analysis and Relevant Practices, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.16 (2012)

In both developing and developed economies, the awareness of the importance of financial education led to the development of an increasing number of tailored national strategies for financial education. These frameworks promote a smoother and more sustainable co-operation between interested parties and stakeholders, avoid duplication of resources and allow the development of articulated and tailored roadmaps with measurable and realistic objectives based on dedicated national assessments. The comparative analysis shows how countries overcame a series of challenges such as lack of resources, the identification a leading institution, gathering all stakeholders around common objectives and move efficiently to the operational phase. The experiences analysed in this report provide a global picture of the situation in 2011/12 and a selection of relevant solutions and tools to address these issues in a replicable way.

Measuring Financial Literacy: Results of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) Pilot Study, OECD Working Paper on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, n.15 (2012)

This paper presents the findings from an OECD International Network on Financial Education pilot study undertaken in 14 countries. The results highlight a lack of financial knowledge amongst a sizeable proportion of the population in each of the countries surveyed. Furthermore, there is considerable room for improvement in terms of financial behaviour. Attitudes are shown to vary widely.

Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.14 (2012)

The potential implications of gender differences in financial literacy are far-reaching. This paper describes the findings of a review of the literature on gender differences in financial literacy with the aim to better understand their causes and consequences, as well as possible policy responses. It provides a starting point to collect further evidence, develop analytical work and case studies, and to identify areas that deserve further research, thus paving the way for future work to be developed by the OECD and the INFE. A relatively broad range of empirical literature documents the existence of gender differences in financial literacy in various countries and along several dimensions. On average, women perform worse than men on tests of financial knowledge and have less confidence in their financial skills. However, so far policy awareness of the existence and relevance of these differences is quite low. The literature (albeit so far limited) on what drives such gender differences points to several potentially complementary explanations including differences in skills, attitudes, and opportunities. In this context, the contribution of improved and targeted financial education programmes aimed at better addressing women’s needs is promising and worth exploring further.

Evaluating financial education programmes (2011)

Monitoring and evaluation is essential in order to be certain that a programme is effective, to identify areas for improvement and to check that the initiative makes good use of resources. Evaluation evidence can help to identify the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.

Framework for the development of financial literacy baseline surveys - OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.1 (2009)

There is growing concern, across a wide range of countries, about the levels of financial capability of consumers. A large number of initiatives are therefore being developed to address this issue; and countries are increasingly rolling out national strategies on financial capability. To do this effectively requires evidence on the areas where financial capability in the population is low and an identification of the extent to which these should be addressed by financial education and/or consumer protection measures. Yet there is remarkably little robust information in this area and none that is comparable across countries. This report is aimed at informing the work of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) in this field, by 1) elaborating a set of draft good practice guidelines for the design of national financial literacy surveys and; 2) proposing guidelines for the design of a core set of good practice questions for embedding within any national surveys aimed at measuring financial literacy levels.

Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection: Overlooked Aspects of the Crisis (2009)

Financial services firms must make sure their customers understand what they are letting themselves in for when they sign up for mortgages, consumer loans and other products, under new OECD guidelines designed to avoid a repeat of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch that sent the world economy into recession.

Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit (2009) (PDF)

RECOMMENDS that Members promote financial awareness and education relating to credit and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part.

Recommendation on good practices for enhanced risk awareness and education on insurance issues (2008) (PDF)

Recomends that Member Countries promote awareness and education in relation to risks and insurance issues and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Enhanced Risk Awareness and Education on Insurance Issues that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part

OECD Good Practices for Financial Education Relating to Private Pensions (2008) (PDF)

Recommends that Member Countries promote financial awareness and education relating to private pensions and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Financial Education relating to Private Pensions which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, and of which they form an integral part.

Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness (2005) (PDF)

Recommends that Member countries promote financial education and awareness and in this respect that governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the principles and good practices for financial education and awareness which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation and form an integral part thereof.

Can you help someone become financially capable? A meta-analysis of the literature (2014)

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Financial literacy around the world: an overview of the evidence with practical suggestions for the way forward (2013)

Financial literacy programs are fast becoming a key ingredient in financial policy reform worldwide. Yet, what is financial literacy exactly and what do we know of its effectiveness? This paper collects insights from the literature thus far and summarizes global evidence on financial literacy, its correlates, and existing and upcoming causal investigations. The authors conclude with a synthesis of policy advice and practical suggestions for the way forward in this fast growing area of research.

Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions: evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media (2013)

This paper exploits the emotional connections and viewer attentiveness of mainstream media to evaluate the economic impact of financial education messages on debt management delivered through a popular television soap opera in South Africa. The study uses a symmetric encouragement design to compare outcomes of individuals who were randomly assigned to watch a soap opera with financial messages, "Scandal!" to those of individuals who were invited to watch a similar soap opera without financial messages, "Muvhango." Both shows overlapped in evening primetime and had similar past viewership profiles. The financial storyline spanned two months and featured one of the leading characters of the show borrowing excessively and irresponsibly through hire-purchase, gambling, and ending up in financial distress; and eventually seeking help to find her way out. Two intermediate and one final follow-up surveys were conducted as part of the study. The analysis finds individuals assigned to watch Scandal had significantly higher financial knowledge of the issues highlighted in the soap opera storyline, in particular messages delivered by the leading character. On behaviour, Scandal viewers were almost twice more likely to borrow from formal sources, less likely to engage in gambling, and less prone to enter hire purchase agreements. Messages promoting a national debt mediation helpline delivered by an external character did not sustain traction beyond immediate interest. Three qualitative focus groups highlight the importance of emotional connections with the leading character in motivating behaviour change.

The impact of high school financial education: experimental evidence from Brazil (2013)

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular? Experimental evidence from Mexico (2013)

Take-up of voluntary financial education programs is typically extremely low. This paper reports on randomized experiments around a large financial literacy course offered in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up, and to measure the impact of financial education. It documents that the general public displays little interest in such courses and that participation is low even among individuals who express interest in financial education. The paper experimentally investigates barriers to take-up, and finds no impact of relaxing reputational or logistical constraints and no evidence that time inconsistency is the reason for limited participation. Even relatively sizeable monetary incentives get less than 40 percent of interested individuals invited to training to attend. Using a randomized encouragement design, the authors measure the impact of the course on financial knowledge and behaviour. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge and a 9 percentage point increase in saving outcomes, but no impact on borrowing behaviour. Administrative data indicate that the savings impact is relatively short-lived. The results suggest people are making optimal choices not to attend financial education courses, and point to the limits of using general purpose courses to improve financial behaviour for the general population.

Financial literacy and the financial crisis (2012)

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their chances of having sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, where consumer loans grew at an astounding rate -- from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 -- to examine the importance of financial literacy and its relationship with behavior. The survey asked questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), and spending behavior. The paper studies the consequences of greater financial literacy on the use of financial products and financial planning. Even though consumer borrowing rose rapidly in Russia, only 41 percent of the survey respondents understood how interest compounding worked and only 46 percent could answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Individuals with higher rates of financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having more unspent income at the end of the month and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and the availability of unspent income is more evident during the financial crisis, suggesting that better financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy (2011)

A growing body of literature examines the causal impact of financial literacy on individual, household, and firm level outcomes. This paper unpacks the mechanism of impact by focusing on the first link in the causal chain. Specifically, it studies the experimental impact of financial literacy on three distinct dimensions of financial knowledge. The analysis finds that financial literacy does not immediately enable individuals to discern costs and rewards that require high numeracy skills, but it does significantly improve basic awareness of financial choices and attitudes toward financial decisions. Monetary incentives do not induce better performance, suggesting cognitive constraints rather than lack of attention are a key barrier to improving financial knowledge. These results illuminate the strengths and limitations of financial literacy training, which can inform the design and anticipated effects of such programs.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies (2010)

This Working Paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation and Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However, independent of the specific institutional structures, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Consumers should also receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Also, financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. In addition, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it.

Comunicação da Comissão Europeia relativa à educação financeira (2007)

A Comissão considera a educação financeira fundamental com vista à constituição de um mercado único e deseja, a esse respeito, incitar os cidadãos europeus a adquirirem os conhecimentos rudimentares em finanças pessoais. A presente comunicação destina-se a definir os princípios de base para programas nacionais de educação financeira de qualidade, bem como a apresentar as iniciativas efectuadas pela União Europeia neste domínio.

Promoting financial inclusion through financial education (2013)

Financial inclusion is an international policy priority and demand-side initiatives including financial education have an important role to play in helping individuals to access and use appropriate, formal financial products. In 2010, under the support of the Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy and Education, the OECD/INFE launched a project on the role of financial education in financial inclusion.
The results of this work show that low levels of financial inclusion are associated with lower levels of financial literacy. Recent research, including a broad stock take of INFE members, permitted to identify various ways in which policy makers are developing financial education policies for financial inclusion. Based on a review of approaches taken to deliver financial education for financial inclusion, this report highlights challenges faced and solutions found, and discusses the main lessons learnt and potential way forward

Advancing national strategies for financial education (2013)

Jointly published by Russia's G20 Presidency and the OECD, this report monitors progress by the governments of the world’s major economies in implementing national strategies for improving financial education. It includes contributions by twenty one G20 member economies and invited countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) as well as the European Union.
The publication highlights the main features of country experiences and in particular the rationale for the development of national strategies, their status in the countries covered in the publication, their main objectives and their founding elements. It also points to the different governing structures established to design and implement national strategies, the role of stakeholders, and their main implementing directions and challenges. Finally, it proposes possible areas for further policy action.

Financial education, savings and investments: an overview (2013)

Savings and investments by individuals are important both for personal financial well-being and for economic growth. Many governments try to encourage their citizens to save more, or to save more appropriately, by preferring formal institutions to informal saving and by promoting more diversification. However, there are considerable barriers to saving, including limited access to financial markets by some groups, complexity of financial products and information asymmetries. Knowledge and understanding of saving and investment concepts is particularly low in many countries. In addition, there are behavioural and cultural factors which may limit people’s propensity to save. As a consequence, policy makers have developed several strategies to influence whether and how individuals save. Policy responses typically involve a combination of prudential regulation and consumer protection legislation, financial incentives, financial education and awareness initiatives, as well as behavioural techniques to encourage people into sound saving decisions.

INFE high-level principles for the evaluation on financial education programmes (2012)

Monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes is essential to be certain that they are effective, to identify where and how they can be improved and to check whether resources are well used. Evaluation evidence can help identifying the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.
These OECD INFE High-level Principles for the Evaluation of Financial Education Programmes provide policy makers, programme designers and other stakeholders with information about the importance of monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes. They cover a wide variety of financial education provisions, from individual courses and seminars to large scale programmes and media campaigns.
Because the evaluation of national strategies requires evaluation of the component parts, these principles and recommendations are of relevance in all countries, regardless of whether there is a national financial literacy strategy.

OECD-INFE High-level principles on national strategies for financial education (2012)

An increasing amount of attention and resources are being spent on financial education by governments and public authorities worldwide. As the amount of resources spent has increased, so has the importance of ensuring the efficiency and relevance of these programmes and their long term impact. In this respect, the establishment of co-ordinated and tailored strategies at national level has been widely considered to be one of the best means to achieve these efficiency goals while avoiding duplication of resources and efforts. However such national endeavours have often proved to be challenging, notably due to limited long-term commitment from stakeholders, difficult co‑operation between them, competing interests and mandates, lack of financial and in-kind resources and other implementation issues.
The High-level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education complement the recommendations and standards already produced by the OECD and its INFE.

Current Status of National Strategies for Financial Education: A Comparative Analysis and Relevant Practices, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.16 (2012)

In both developing and developed economies, the awareness of the importance of financial education led to the development of an increasing number of tailored national strategies for financial education. These frameworks promote a smoother and more sustainable co-operation between interested parties and stakeholders, avoid duplication of resources and allow the development of articulated and tailored roadmaps with measurable and realistic objectives based on dedicated national assessments. The comparative analysis shows how countries overcame a series of challenges such as lack of resources, the identification a leading institution, gathering all stakeholders around common objectives and move efficiently to the operational phase. The experiences analysed in this report provide a global picture of the situation in 2011/12 and a selection of relevant solutions and tools to address these issues in a replicable way.

Measuring Financial Literacy: Results of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) Pilot Study, OECD Working Paper on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, n.15 (2012)

This paper presents the findings from an OECD International Network on Financial Education pilot study undertaken in 14 countries. The results highlight a lack of financial knowledge amongst a sizeable proportion of the population in each of the countries surveyed. Furthermore, there is considerable room for improvement in terms of financial behaviour. Attitudes are shown to vary widely.

Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.14 (2012)

The potential implications of gender differences in financial literacy are far-reaching. This paper describes the findings of a review of the literature on gender differences in financial literacy with the aim to better understand their causes and consequences, as well as possible policy responses. It provides a starting point to collect further evidence, develop analytical work and case studies, and to identify areas that deserve further research, thus paving the way for future work to be developed by the OECD and the INFE. A relatively broad range of empirical literature documents the existence of gender differences in financial literacy in various countries and along several dimensions. On average, women perform worse than men on tests of financial knowledge and have less confidence in their financial skills. However, so far policy awareness of the existence and relevance of these differences is quite low. The literature (albeit so far limited) on what drives such gender differences points to several potentially complementary explanations including differences in skills, attitudes, and opportunities. In this context, the contribution of improved and targeted financial education programmes aimed at better addressing women’s needs is promising and worth exploring further.

Evaluating financial education programmes (2011)

Monitoring and evaluation is essential in order to be certain that a programme is effective, to identify areas for improvement and to check that the initiative makes good use of resources. Evaluation evidence can help to identify the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.

Framework for the development of financial literacy baseline surveys - OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.1 (2009)

There is growing concern, across a wide range of countries, about the levels of financial capability of consumers. A large number of initiatives are therefore being developed to address this issue; and countries are increasingly rolling out national strategies on financial capability. To do this effectively requires evidence on the areas where financial capability in the population is low and an identification of the extent to which these should be addressed by financial education and/or consumer protection measures. Yet there is remarkably little robust information in this area and none that is comparable across countries. This report is aimed at informing the work of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) in this field, by 1) elaborating a set of draft good practice guidelines for the design of national financial literacy surveys and; 2) proposing guidelines for the design of a core set of good practice questions for embedding within any national surveys aimed at measuring financial literacy levels.

Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection: Overlooked Aspects of the Crisis (2009)

Financial services firms must make sure their customers understand what they are letting themselves in for when they sign up for mortgages, consumer loans and other products, under new OECD guidelines designed to avoid a repeat of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch that sent the world economy into recession.

Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit (2009) (PDF)

RECOMMENDS that Members promote financial awareness and education relating to credit and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part.

Recommendation on good practices for enhanced risk awareness and education on insurance issues (2008) (PDF)

Recomends that Member Countries promote awareness and education in relation to risks and insurance issues and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Enhanced Risk Awareness and Education on Insurance Issues that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part

OECD Good Practices for Financial Education Relating to Private Pensions (2008) (PDF)

Recommends that Member Countries promote financial awareness and education relating to private pensions and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Financial Education relating to Private Pensions which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, and of which they form an integral part.

Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness (2005) (PDF)

Recommends that Member countries promote financial education and awareness and in this respect that governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the principles and good practices for financial education and awareness which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation and form an integral part thereof.

Can you help someone become financially capable? A meta-analysis of the literature (2014)

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Financial literacy around the world: an overview of the evidence with practical suggestions for the way forward (2013)

Financial literacy programs are fast becoming a key ingredient in financial policy reform worldwide. Yet, what is financial literacy exactly and what do we know of its effectiveness? This paper collects insights from the literature thus far and summarizes global evidence on financial literacy, its correlates, and existing and upcoming causal investigations. The authors conclude with a synthesis of policy advice and practical suggestions for the way forward in this fast growing area of research.

Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions: evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media (2013)

This paper exploits the emotional connections and viewer attentiveness of mainstream media to evaluate the economic impact of financial education messages on debt management delivered through a popular television soap opera in South Africa. The study uses a symmetric encouragement design to compare outcomes of individuals who were randomly assigned to watch a soap opera with financial messages, "Scandal!" to those of individuals who were invited to watch a similar soap opera without financial messages, "Muvhango." Both shows overlapped in evening primetime and had similar past viewership profiles. The financial storyline spanned two months and featured one of the leading characters of the show borrowing excessively and irresponsibly through hire-purchase, gambling, and ending up in financial distress; and eventually seeking help to find her way out. Two intermediate and one final follow-up surveys were conducted as part of the study. The analysis finds individuals assigned to watch Scandal had significantly higher financial knowledge of the issues highlighted in the soap opera storyline, in particular messages delivered by the leading character. On behaviour, Scandal viewers were almost twice more likely to borrow from formal sources, less likely to engage in gambling, and less prone to enter hire purchase agreements. Messages promoting a national debt mediation helpline delivered by an external character did not sustain traction beyond immediate interest. Three qualitative focus groups highlight the importance of emotional connections with the leading character in motivating behaviour change.

The impact of high school financial education: experimental evidence from Brazil (2013)

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular? Experimental evidence from Mexico (2013)

Take-up of voluntary financial education programs is typically extremely low. This paper reports on randomized experiments around a large financial literacy course offered in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up, and to measure the impact of financial education. It documents that the general public displays little interest in such courses and that participation is low even among individuals who express interest in financial education. The paper experimentally investigates barriers to take-up, and finds no impact of relaxing reputational or logistical constraints and no evidence that time inconsistency is the reason for limited participation. Even relatively sizeable monetary incentives get less than 40 percent of interested individuals invited to training to attend. Using a randomized encouragement design, the authors measure the impact of the course on financial knowledge and behaviour. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge and a 9 percentage point increase in saving outcomes, but no impact on borrowing behaviour. Administrative data indicate that the savings impact is relatively short-lived. The results suggest people are making optimal choices not to attend financial education courses, and point to the limits of using general purpose courses to improve financial behaviour for the general population.

Financial literacy and the financial crisis (2012)

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their chances of having sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, where consumer loans grew at an astounding rate -- from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 -- to examine the importance of financial literacy and its relationship with behavior. The survey asked questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), and spending behavior. The paper studies the consequences of greater financial literacy on the use of financial products and financial planning. Even though consumer borrowing rose rapidly in Russia, only 41 percent of the survey respondents understood how interest compounding worked and only 46 percent could answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Individuals with higher rates of financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having more unspent income at the end of the month and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and the availability of unspent income is more evident during the financial crisis, suggesting that better financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy (2011)

A growing body of literature examines the causal impact of financial literacy on individual, household, and firm level outcomes. This paper unpacks the mechanism of impact by focusing on the first link in the causal chain. Specifically, it studies the experimental impact of financial literacy on three distinct dimensions of financial knowledge. The analysis finds that financial literacy does not immediately enable individuals to discern costs and rewards that require high numeracy skills, but it does significantly improve basic awareness of financial choices and attitudes toward financial decisions. Monetary incentives do not induce better performance, suggesting cognitive constraints rather than lack of attention are a key barrier to improving financial knowledge. These results illuminate the strengths and limitations of financial literacy training, which can inform the design and anticipated effects of such programs.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies (2010)

This Working Paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation and Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However, independent of the specific institutional structures, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Consumers should also receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Also, financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. In addition, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it.

Promoting financial inclusion through financial education (2013)

Financial inclusion is an international policy priority and demand-side initiatives including financial education have an important role to play in helping individuals to access and use appropriate, formal financial products. In 2010, under the support of the Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy and Education, the OECD/INFE launched a project on the role of financial education in financial inclusion.
The results of this work show that low levels of financial inclusion are associated with lower levels of financial literacy. Recent research, including a broad stock take of INFE members, permitted to identify various ways in which policy makers are developing financial education policies for financial inclusion. Based on a review of approaches taken to deliver financial education for financial inclusion, this report highlights challenges faced and solutions found, and discusses the main lessons learnt and potential way forward

Advancing national strategies for financial education (2013)

Jointly published by Russia's G20 Presidency and the OECD, this report monitors progress by the governments of the world’s major economies in implementing national strategies for improving financial education. It includes contributions by twenty one G20 member economies and invited countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) as well as the European Union.
The publication highlights the main features of country experiences and in particular the rationale for the development of national strategies, their status in the countries covered in the publication, their main objectives and their founding elements. It also points to the different governing structures established to design and implement national strategies, the role of stakeholders, and their main implementing directions and challenges. Finally, it proposes possible areas for further policy action.

Financial education, savings and investments: an overview (2013)

Savings and investments by individuals are important both for personal financial well-being and for economic growth. Many governments try to encourage their citizens to save more, or to save more appropriately, by preferring formal institutions to informal saving and by promoting more diversification. However, there are considerable barriers to saving, including limited access to financial markets by some groups, complexity of financial products and information asymmetries. Knowledge and understanding of saving and investment concepts is particularly low in many countries. In addition, there are behavioural and cultural factors which may limit people’s propensity to save. As a consequence, policy makers have developed several strategies to influence whether and how individuals save. Policy responses typically involve a combination of prudential regulation and consumer protection legislation, financial incentives, financial education and awareness initiatives, as well as behavioural techniques to encourage people into sound saving decisions.

INFE high-level principles for the evaluation on financial education programmes (2012)

Monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes is essential to be certain that they are effective, to identify where and how they can be improved and to check whether resources are well used. Evaluation evidence can help identifying the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.
These OECD INFE High-level Principles for the Evaluation of Financial Education Programmes provide policy makers, programme designers and other stakeholders with information about the importance of monitoring and evaluating financial education programmes. They cover a wide variety of financial education provisions, from individual courses and seminars to large scale programmes and media campaigns.
Because the evaluation of national strategies requires evaluation of the component parts, these principles and recommendations are of relevance in all countries, regardless of whether there is a national financial literacy strategy.

OECD-INFE High-level principles on national strategies for financial education (2012)

An increasing amount of attention and resources are being spent on financial education by governments and public authorities worldwide. As the amount of resources spent has increased, so has the importance of ensuring the efficiency and relevance of these programmes and their long term impact. In this respect, the establishment of co-ordinated and tailored strategies at national level has been widely considered to be one of the best means to achieve these efficiency goals while avoiding duplication of resources and efforts. However such national endeavours have often proved to be challenging, notably due to limited long-term commitment from stakeholders, difficult co‑operation between them, competing interests and mandates, lack of financial and in-kind resources and other implementation issues.
The High-level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education complement the recommendations and standards already produced by the OECD and its INFE.

Current Status of National Strategies for Financial Education: A Comparative Analysis and Relevant Practices, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.16 (2012)

In both developing and developed economies, the awareness of the importance of financial education led to the development of an increasing number of tailored national strategies for financial education. These frameworks promote a smoother and more sustainable co-operation between interested parties and stakeholders, avoid duplication of resources and allow the development of articulated and tailored roadmaps with measurable and realistic objectives based on dedicated national assessments. The comparative analysis shows how countries overcame a series of challenges such as lack of resources, the identification a leading institution, gathering all stakeholders around common objectives and move efficiently to the operational phase. The experiences analysed in this report provide a global picture of the situation in 2011/12 and a selection of relevant solutions and tools to address these issues in a replicable way.

Measuring Financial Literacy: Results of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) Pilot Study, OECD Working Paper on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, n.15 (2012)

This paper presents the findings from an OECD International Network on Financial Education pilot study undertaken in 14 countries. The results highlight a lack of financial knowledge amongst a sizeable proportion of the population in each of the countries surveyed. Furthermore, there is considerable room for improvement in terms of financial behaviour. Attitudes are shown to vary widely.

Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education, OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.14 (2012)

The potential implications of gender differences in financial literacy are far-reaching. This paper describes the findings of a review of the literature on gender differences in financial literacy with the aim to better understand their causes and consequences, as well as possible policy responses. It provides a starting point to collect further evidence, develop analytical work and case studies, and to identify areas that deserve further research, thus paving the way for future work to be developed by the OECD and the INFE. A relatively broad range of empirical literature documents the existence of gender differences in financial literacy in various countries and along several dimensions. On average, women perform worse than men on tests of financial knowledge and have less confidence in their financial skills. However, so far policy awareness of the existence and relevance of these differences is quite low. The literature (albeit so far limited) on what drives such gender differences points to several potentially complementary explanations including differences in skills, attitudes, and opportunities. In this context, the contribution of improved and targeted financial education programmes aimed at better addressing women’s needs is promising and worth exploring further.

Evaluating financial education programmes (2011)

Monitoring and evaluation is essential in order to be certain that a programme is effective, to identify areas for improvement and to check that the initiative makes good use of resources. Evaluation evidence can help to identify the most efficient programmes and influencing future funding decisions. Furthermore, when robust evaluation findings are generalised to a wider population it becomes possible to predict the overall impact of a programme on a much larger scale and set well-defined policy targets.

Framework for the development of financial literacy baseline surveys - OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions, No.1 (2009)

There is growing concern, across a wide range of countries, about the levels of financial capability of consumers. A large number of initiatives are therefore being developed to address this issue; and countries are increasingly rolling out national strategies on financial capability. To do this effectively requires evidence on the areas where financial capability in the population is low and an identification of the extent to which these should be addressed by financial education and/or consumer protection measures. Yet there is remarkably little robust information in this area and none that is comparable across countries. This report is aimed at informing the work of the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) in this field, by 1) elaborating a set of draft good practice guidelines for the design of national financial literacy surveys and; 2) proposing guidelines for the design of a core set of good practice questions for embedding within any national surveys aimed at measuring financial literacy levels.

Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection: Overlooked Aspects of the Crisis (2009)

Financial services firms must make sure their customers understand what they are letting themselves in for when they sign up for mortgages, consumer loans and other products, under new OECD guidelines designed to avoid a repeat of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch that sent the world economy into recession.

Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit (2009) (PDF)

RECOMMENDS that Members promote financial awareness and education relating to credit and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices on Financial Education and Awareness Relating to Credit that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part.

Recommendation on good practices for enhanced risk awareness and education on insurance issues (2008) (PDF)

Recomends that Member Countries promote awareness and education in relation to risks and insurance issues and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Enhanced Risk Awareness and Education on Insurance Issues that are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, of which they form an integral part

OECD Good Practices for Financial Education Relating to Private Pensions (2008) (PDF)

Recommends that Member Countries promote financial awareness and education relating to private pensions and that, in this regard, governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the Good Practices for Financial Education relating to Private Pensions which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation, and of which they form an integral part.

Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness (2005) (PDF)

Recommends that Member countries promote financial education and awareness and in this respect that governments and relevant public and private institutions take due account of and implement the principles and good practices for financial education and awareness which are set out in the Annex to this Recommendation and form an integral part thereof.

Can you help someone become financially capable? A meta-analysis of the literature (2014)

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Financial literacy around the world: an overview of the evidence with practical suggestions for the way forward (2013)

Financial literacy programs are fast becoming a key ingredient in financial policy reform worldwide. Yet, what is financial literacy exactly and what do we know of its effectiveness? This paper collects insights from the literature thus far and summarizes global evidence on financial literacy, its correlates, and existing and upcoming causal investigations. The authors conclude with a synthesis of policy advice and practical suggestions for the way forward in this fast growing area of research.

Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions: evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media (2013)

This paper exploits the emotional connections and viewer attentiveness of mainstream media to evaluate the economic impact of financial education messages on debt management delivered through a popular television soap opera in South Africa. The study uses a symmetric encouragement design to compare outcomes of individuals who were randomly assigned to watch a soap opera with financial messages, "Scandal!" to those of individuals who were invited to watch a similar soap opera without financial messages, "Muvhango." Both shows overlapped in evening primetime and had similar past viewership profiles. The financial storyline spanned two months and featured one of the leading characters of the show borrowing excessively and irresponsibly through hire-purchase, gambling, and ending up in financial distress; and eventually seeking help to find her way out. Two intermediate and one final follow-up surveys were conducted as part of the study. The analysis finds individuals assigned to watch Scandal had significantly higher financial knowledge of the issues highlighted in the soap opera storyline, in particular messages delivered by the leading character. On behaviour, Scandal viewers were almost twice more likely to borrow from formal sources, less likely to engage in gambling, and less prone to enter hire purchase agreements. Messages promoting a national debt mediation helpline delivered by an external character did not sustain traction beyond immediate interest. Three qualitative focus groups highlight the importance of emotional connections with the leading character in motivating behaviour change.

The impact of high school financial education: experimental evidence from Brazil (2013)

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular? Experimental evidence from Mexico (2013)

Take-up of voluntary financial education programs is typically extremely low. This paper reports on randomized experiments around a large financial literacy course offered in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up, and to measure the impact of financial education. It documents that the general public displays little interest in such courses and that participation is low even among individuals who express interest in financial education. The paper experimentally investigates barriers to take-up, and finds no impact of relaxing reputational or logistical constraints and no evidence that time inconsistency is the reason for limited participation. Even relatively sizeable monetary incentives get less than 40 percent of interested individuals invited to training to attend. Using a randomized encouragement design, the authors measure the impact of the course on financial knowledge and behaviour. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge and a 9 percentage point increase in saving outcomes, but no impact on borrowing behaviour. Administrative data indicate that the savings impact is relatively short-lived. The results suggest people are making optimal choices not to attend financial education courses, and point to the limits of using general purpose courses to improve financial behaviour for the general population.

Financial literacy and the financial crisis (2012)

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their chances of having sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, where consumer loans grew at an astounding rate -- from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 -- to examine the importance of financial literacy and its relationship with behavior. The survey asked questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), and spending behavior. The paper studies the consequences of greater financial literacy on the use of financial products and financial planning. Even though consumer borrowing rose rapidly in Russia, only 41 percent of the survey respondents understood how interest compounding worked and only 46 percent could answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Individuals with higher rates of financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having more unspent income at the end of the month and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and the availability of unspent income is more evident during the financial crisis, suggesting that better financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy (2011)

A growing body of literature examines the causal impact of financial literacy on individual, household, and firm level outcomes. This paper unpacks the mechanism of impact by focusing on the first link in the causal chain. Specifically, it studies the experimental impact of financial literacy on three distinct dimensions of financial knowledge. The analysis finds that financial literacy does not immediately enable individuals to discern costs and rewards that require high numeracy skills, but it does significantly improve basic awareness of financial choices and attitudes toward financial decisions. Monetary incentives do not induce better performance, suggesting cognitive constraints rather than lack of attention are a key barrier to improving financial knowledge. These results illuminate the strengths and limitations of financial literacy training, which can inform the design and anticipated effects of such programs.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies (2010)

This Working Paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation and Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However, independent of the specific institutional structures, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Consumers should also receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Also, financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. In addition, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it.

Can you help someone become financially capable? A meta-analysis of the literature (2014)

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Financial literacy around the world: an overview of the evidence with practical suggestions for the way forward (2013)

Financial literacy programs are fast becoming a key ingredient in financial policy reform worldwide. Yet, what is financial literacy exactly and what do we know of its effectiveness? This paper collects insights from the literature thus far and summarizes global evidence on financial literacy, its correlates, and existing and upcoming causal investigations. The authors conclude with a synthesis of policy advice and practical suggestions for the way forward in this fast growing area of research.

Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions: evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media (2013)

This paper exploits the emotional connections and viewer attentiveness of mainstream media to evaluate the economic impact of financial education messages on debt management delivered through a popular television soap opera in South Africa. The study uses a symmetric encouragement design to compare outcomes of individuals who were randomly assigned to watch a soap opera with financial messages, "Scandal!" to those of individuals who were invited to watch a similar soap opera without financial messages, "Muvhango." Both shows overlapped in evening primetime and had similar past viewership profiles. The financial storyline spanned two months and featured one of the leading characters of the show borrowing excessively and irresponsibly through hire-purchase, gambling, and ending up in financial distress; and eventually seeking help to find her way out. Two intermediate and one final follow-up surveys were conducted as part of the study. The analysis finds individuals assigned to watch Scandal had significantly higher financial knowledge of the issues highlighted in the soap opera storyline, in particular messages delivered by the leading character. On behaviour, Scandal viewers were almost twice more likely to borrow from formal sources, less likely to engage in gambling, and less prone to enter hire purchase agreements. Messages promoting a national debt mediation helpline delivered by an external character did not sustain traction beyond immediate interest. Three qualitative focus groups highlight the importance of emotional connections with the leading character in motivating behaviour change.

The impact of high school financial education: experimental evidence from Brazil (2013)

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular? Experimental evidence from Mexico (2013)

Take-up of voluntary financial education programs is typically extremely low. This paper reports on randomized experiments around a large financial literacy course offered in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up, and to measure the impact of financial education. It documents that the general public displays little interest in such courses and that participation is low even among individuals who express interest in financial education. The paper experimentally investigates barriers to take-up, and finds no impact of relaxing reputational or logistical constraints and no evidence that time inconsistency is the reason for limited participation. Even relatively sizeable monetary incentives get less than 40 percent of interested individuals invited to training to attend. Using a randomized encouragement design, the authors measure the impact of the course on financial knowledge and behaviour. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge and a 9 percentage point increase in saving outcomes, but no impact on borrowing behaviour. Administrative data indicate that the savings impact is relatively short-lived. The results suggest people are making optimal choices not to attend financial education courses, and point to the limits of using general purpose courses to improve financial behaviour for the general population.

Financial literacy and the financial crisis (2012)

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their chances of having sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, where consumer loans grew at an astounding rate -- from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 -- to examine the importance of financial literacy and its relationship with behavior. The survey asked questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), and spending behavior. The paper studies the consequences of greater financial literacy on the use of financial products and financial planning. Even though consumer borrowing rose rapidly in Russia, only 41 percent of the survey respondents understood how interest compounding worked and only 46 percent could answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Individuals with higher rates of financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having more unspent income at the end of the month and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and the availability of unspent income is more evident during the financial crisis, suggesting that better financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy (2011)

A growing body of literature examines the causal impact of financial literacy on individual, household, and firm level outcomes. This paper unpacks the mechanism of impact by focusing on the first link in the causal chain. Specifically, it studies the experimental impact of financial literacy on three distinct dimensions of financial knowledge. The analysis finds that financial literacy does not immediately enable individuals to discern costs and rewards that require high numeracy skills, but it does significantly improve basic awareness of financial choices and attitudes toward financial decisions. Monetary incentives do not induce better performance, suggesting cognitive constraints rather than lack of attention are a key barrier to improving financial knowledge. These results illuminate the strengths and limitations of financial literacy training, which can inform the design and anticipated effects of such programs.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies (2010)

This Working Paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation and Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However, independent of the specific institutional structures, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Consumers should also receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Also, financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. In addition, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it.

Can you help someone become financially capable? A meta-analysis of the literature (2014)

This paper presents a systematic and comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature on financial education interventions. The analysis focuses on financial education studies designed to strengthen the financial knowledge and behaviors of consumers. The analysis identifies 188 papers and articles that present impact results of interventions designed to increase consumers' financial knowledge (financial literacy) or skills, attitudes, and behaviors (financial capability). These papers are diverse across a number of dimensions, including objectives of the program intervention, expected outcomes, intensity and duration of the intervention, delivery channel used, and type of population targeted. However, there are a few key outcome indicators where a subset of papers are comparable, including those that address savings behavior, defaults on loans, and financial skills, such as record keeping. The results from the meta analysis indicate that financial literacy and capability interventions can have a positive impact in some areas (increasing savings and promoting financial skills such as record keeping) but not in others (credit default).

Financial literacy around the world: an overview of the evidence with practical suggestions for the way forward (2013)

Financial literacy programs are fast becoming a key ingredient in financial policy reform worldwide. Yet, what is financial literacy exactly and what do we know of its effectiveness? This paper collects insights from the literature thus far and summarizes global evidence on financial literacy, its correlates, and existing and upcoming causal investigations. The authors conclude with a synthesis of policy advice and practical suggestions for the way forward in this fast growing area of research.

Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions: evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media (2013)

This paper exploits the emotional connections and viewer attentiveness of mainstream media to evaluate the economic impact of financial education messages on debt management delivered through a popular television soap opera in South Africa. The study uses a symmetric encouragement design to compare outcomes of individuals who were randomly assigned to watch a soap opera with financial messages, "Scandal!" to those of individuals who were invited to watch a similar soap opera without financial messages, "Muvhango." Both shows overlapped in evening primetime and had similar past viewership profiles. The financial storyline spanned two months and featured one of the leading characters of the show borrowing excessively and irresponsibly through hire-purchase, gambling, and ending up in financial distress; and eventually seeking help to find her way out. Two intermediate and one final follow-up surveys were conducted as part of the study. The analysis finds individuals assigned to watch Scandal had significantly higher financial knowledge of the issues highlighted in the soap opera storyline, in particular messages delivered by the leading character. On behaviour, Scandal viewers were almost twice more likely to borrow from formal sources, less likely to engage in gambling, and less prone to enter hire purchase agreements. Messages promoting a national debt mediation helpline delivered by an external character did not sustain traction beyond immediate interest. Three qualitative focus groups highlight the importance of emotional connections with the leading character in motivating behaviour change.

The impact of high school financial education: experimental evidence from Brazil (2013)

This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive financial education program spanning six states, 868 schools, and approximately 20,000 high school students in Brazil through a randomized control trial. The program increased student financial knowledge by a quarter of a standard deviation and led to a 1.4 percentage point increase in saving for purchases, better likelihood of financial planning, and greater participation in household financial decisions by students. "Trickle-up" impacts on parents were also significant, with improvements in parent financial knowledge, savings, and spending behavior. The study also finds evidence that the program affected students' inter-temporal preferences and attitudes.

Why is voluntary financial education so unpopular? Experimental evidence from Mexico (2013)

Take-up of voluntary financial education programs is typically extremely low. This paper reports on randomized experiments around a large financial literacy course offered in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up, and to measure the impact of financial education. It documents that the general public displays little interest in such courses and that participation is low even among individuals who express interest in financial education. The paper experimentally investigates barriers to take-up, and finds no impact of relaxing reputational or logistical constraints and no evidence that time inconsistency is the reason for limited participation. Even relatively sizeable monetary incentives get less than 40 percent of interested individuals invited to training to attend. Using a randomized encouragement design, the authors measure the impact of the course on financial knowledge and behaviour. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge and a 9 percentage point increase in saving outcomes, but no impact on borrowing behaviour. Administrative data indicate that the savings impact is relatively short-lived. The results suggest people are making optimal choices not to attend financial education courses, and point to the limits of using general purpose courses to improve financial behaviour for the general population.

Financial literacy and the financial crisis (2012)

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their chances of having sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, where consumer loans grew at an astounding rate -- from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 -- to examine the importance of financial literacy and its relationship with behavior. The survey asked questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), and spending behavior. The paper studies the consequences of greater financial literacy on the use of financial products and financial planning. Even though consumer borrowing rose rapidly in Russia, only 41 percent of the survey respondents understood how interest compounding worked and only 46 percent could answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Individuals with higher rates of financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having more unspent income at the end of the month and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and the availability of unspent income is more evident during the financial crisis, suggesting that better financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy (2011)

A growing body of literature examines the causal impact of financial literacy on individual, household, and firm level outcomes. This paper unpacks the mechanism of impact by focusing on the first link in the causal chain. Specifically, it studies the experimental impact of financial literacy on three distinct dimensions of financial knowledge. The analysis finds that financial literacy does not immediately enable individuals to discern costs and rewards that require high numeracy skills, but it does significantly improve basic awareness of financial choices and attitudes toward financial decisions. Monetary incentives do not induce better performance, suggesting cognitive constraints rather than lack of attention are a key barrier to improving financial knowledge. These results illuminate the strengths and limitations of financial literacy training, which can inform the design and anticipated effects of such programs.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies (2010)

This Working Paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation and Slovakia). All the country assessments used a systematic common approach, based on a set of Good Practices for Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy developed by the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia Region. A common challenge among the nine countries is the need of an adequate institutional structure for financial consumer protection. However, independent of the specific institutional structures, consumers should have access to expedient, inexpensive and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution with financial institutions. Consumers should also receive accurate, simple, comparable information of a financial service or product, before and after buying it. Also, financial institutions should be required to apply fair, non-coercive and reasonable practices when selling and advertising financial products and services to consumers. In addition, consumers should be able to receive financial education when and how they want it.