Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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We evaluate how financial education provided to college students influenced their financial knowledge and planning in an experimental setting where we control for student motivation to enroll in the course. Using a differences-in-differences strategy, we confirm that financial education led to an increase in financial knowledge and planning. Specifically, we find that financial education improved students’ financial knowledge score by 11%, and financial planning score by 16%. No statistically significant effects are detected for students’ levels of financial prudence or discipline.

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Copyright/Permission Statement

Opinions and errors are solely those of the authors and not of the institutions providing funding for this study or with which the authors are affiliated. ©2014 Barua, Koh, and Mitchell. All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of theWharton Schol or the Boettner Center. © 2014 Boettner Centeof the Wharton School of the University ofPennsylvania. All rights reserved.


This research was supported by a grant from the Citi Foundation as well as research support from the Silver Security Centre at the Sim Ki Boon Institute of the Singapore Management University, and the Pension Research Council/Boettner Center of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Tan Boon Sun, Wang Sha, and Ren Yu provided excellent research assistance at different stages of this project.

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Date Posted: 26 June 2019