NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Visual Tools and Narratives: New Ways to Improve Financial Literacy

Annamaria Lusardi, Anya Savikhin Samek, Arie Kapteyn, Lewis Glinert, Angela Hung, Aileen Heinberg

NBER Working Paper No. 20229
Issued in June 2014
NBER Program(s):   AG

We developed and experimentally evaluated four novel educational programs delivered online: an informational brochure, a visual interactive tool, a written narrative, and a video narrative. The programs were designed to inform people about risk diversification, an essential concept for financial decision- making. The effectiveness of these programs was evaluated using the RAND American Life Panel. Participants were exposed to one of the programs, and then asked to answer questions measuring financial literacy and self-efficacy. All of the programs were found to be effective at increasing self-efficacy, and several improved financial literacy, providing new evidence for the value of programs designed to help individuals make financial decisions. The video was more effective at improving financial literacy scores than the written narrative, highlighting the power of online media in financial education.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20229

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