Evidence and Ideology in Assessing the Effectiveness of Financial Literacy Education

Document Type



Financial literacy education has long been promoted as key to consumer financial well-being. Yet the claim has never had more than negligible statistically significant empirical support. This review (1) sets forth the model of financial literacy education underlying public support for these programs today, (2) identifies pervasive and serious limitations in existing empirical research used by policymakers as evidence of the effectiveness of this education, and (3) recommends a number of alternative public policies suggested by the existing research.

Date of Authorship for this Version

April 2008


financial literacy, consumer education, consumer finance, research methods, consumer policy