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Active Learning Fosters Financial Behavior: Experimental Evidence

Discussion Papers 1743, 29 S.

Tim Kaiser, Lukas Menkhoff


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We conduct a randomized field experiment to study the effects of two financial education interventions offered to small-scale retailers in Western Uganda. The treatments contrast “active learning” with “traditional lecturing” within standardized lesson-plans. We find that active learning has a positive and economically meaningful impact on savings and investment outcomes, in contrast to insignificant impacts of lecturing. These results are not conditional on prior education or financial literacy. The active learning intervention seems to be superior as it works via three cognitive and non-cognitive mechanisms, i.e. increased financial knowledge, self-control, and financial confidence, while lecturing only affects financial confidence.

Lukas Menkhoff

Senior Research Associate in the Macroeconomics Department

JEL-Classification: O16;D14;I21
Keywords: financial behavior, financial literacy, active learning, lecturing, training method, field experiment
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