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Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy, Volume 1
 
Author:Carpena, Fenella; Cole, Shawn; Shapiro, Jeremy; Zia, Bilal; Country:World;
Date Stored:2011/09/19Document Date:2011/09/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Primary Education; Financial Literacy; Access & Equity in Basic Education; Access to Finance; Education For All
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:Health and other social services
Rel. Proj ID:1W-Finance Literacy & Investment Choice As A Means To Female Empow -- -- P111634;Region:The World Region
Report Number:WPS5798Sub Sectors:Other social services
Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5798TF No/Name:TF092122-GENDER
Volume No:1  

Summary: 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.

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