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Does lasting behavior change require knowledge change? Evidence from savings interventions for young adults

Samantha Horn, Julian Jamison, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman
Additional contact information
Samantha Horn: Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
Julian Jamison: Department of Economics, University of Exeter

No 2102, Discussion Papers from University of Exeter, Department of Economics

Abstract: Is financial knowledge change necessary for lasting behavior change? Or, akin to Friedman's billiard player, can behavior persist "as if" such knowledge is held? We randomize 240 Ugandan young-adult clubs to financial education, savings account access, both, or neither. Each education arm, but not the account-only arm, increases members' financial knowledge and trust at one-year. At five-years, knowledge effects essentially disappear and trust effects weaken. However, savings, wealth and income increase for each treatment at both one and five years, suggesting multiple viable paths to statistically indistinguishable average outcomes and that textbook knowledge change is unnecessary for lasting impacts.

Keywords: financial education; financial literacy; financial access; savings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 D91 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-07-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-fle and nep-mfd
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https://exetereconomics.github.io/RePEc/dpapers/DP2102.pdf (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Does lasting behavior change require knowledge change? Evidence from savings interventions for young adults (2020) Downloads
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