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JSPES, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Fall 2014)
pp. 290–314

Financial Literacy Interventions: Evaluating the Impact and Scope of Financial Literacy Programs on Savings, Retirement, and Investment

Percy Austin

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Chicago State University

Elizabeth Arnott-Hill

Department of Psychology
Chicago State University

This article provides a critical analysis of current and past studies that have investigated the impact of financial education interventions on consumer financial behavior and financial literacy. The authors consider how financial literacy is measured and examine how well the existing literature addresses whether financial education improves financial literacy or personal financial outcomes or behaviors. We conclude that, taken together, the literature does not succeed in establishing a causal link between financial interventions and the modification of an individual’s spending, saving or investing behavior. The literature does, however, establish a positive correlation between financial interventions and increased financial literacy. Moreover, the existing literature suggests that financial literacy is essential to making optimal financial decisions.