Undergraduate student financial education interventions: Medium term evidence of retention, decay, and confidence in financial literacy

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Abstract

University is a significant transition period for young adults as they seek and gain independence, including financial independence. This would appear an ideal teachable moment for delivering financial education, though evidence of financial education intervention outcomes is mixed. We report medium-term empirical evidence, three years after the completion of an undergraduate personal finance semester-length unit, evidence notably absent in the literature. We find students retain significant objective and subjective financial literacy effects, with modest decay, three years after completing a unit of personal finance education. Effects on behavior and behavior intentions are less robust over time as boosts reported immediately after completion dissipate three years hence, though in absolute terms positive behaviors remain high. We found little evidence to link completion of a unit of study with overconfidence, as has previously been suggested, and students overall appear more discerning in their search for financial information sources after the unit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101552
JournalPacific Basin Finance Journal
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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