A Behaviorally Informed Financial Education Program for the Financially Vulnerable: Design and Effectiveness

December 2022 – Ernst-Jan de Bruijn, Gerrit Antonides, and Tamara Madern – Frontiers in Psychology

Financially vulnerable consumers are often associated with suboptimal financial behaviors. Evaluated financial education programs so far show difficulties to effectively reach this target population. In our attempt to solve this problem, we built a behaviorally informed financial education program incorporating insights from both motivational and behavioral change theories. In a quasi-experimental field study among Dutch financially vulnerable people, we compared this program with both a control group and a traditional program group. In comparison with the control group, we found robust positive effects of the behaviorally informed program on financial skills and knowledge and self-reported financial behavior, but not on other outcomes. Additionally, we did not find evidence that the behaviorally informed program performed better than the traditional program. Finally, we discuss the findings and limitations of this study in light of the financial education literature and provide implications for policymaking and directions for future research.

Read the full publication: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1090024/full

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