Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



We undertake an assessment of our two decades of research on financial literacy, building on our empirical research and theoretical work casting financial knowledge as a form of investment in human capital. We also draw on recent data to determine who is the most – and least – financially savvy in the United States, and we highlight the similarity of our results in other countries. A number of convincing studies is now available, from which we draw conclusions about the effects and consequences of financial illiteracy, and what can be done to fill these gaps. We conclude by offering our thoughts on implications for teaching, financial literacy programs, and future research.


Financial education, inflation, wealth inequality, saving, debt, stock market participation

JEL Code

G53, D14, D91

Working Paper Number



The research was supported by the Pension Research Council and Boettner Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not represent the opinions or policy of any institutions with which the authors are affiliated. ©2023 Lusardi and Mitchell. All rights reserved.


The authors thank Yong Yu for research assistance.

Included in

Economics Commons



Date Posted: 21 April 2023