Financial education, especially when provided in the early stages of life, has the potential to create long-lasting impacts. Intuitively, financial education provides useful tools to people of all ages, yet empirical evidence for this impact is thin and often mixed. This project tests two financial education curricula for primary school students. Specifically, it measures the impact of financial education on student behavior attitudes, and outcomes.
The evaluation was conducted over the course of one school year, from September 2010 to August 2011, in partnership with Aflatoun, a Dutch NGO providing social and financial education to children in 33 countries.
The study included 5,000 primary school students aged 9 - 14 in 135 public schools in semi-urban and rural Ghana, including 30 schools in Greater Accra, 60 in Volta, and 45 in Western District. One-third of the schools in each region were randomly assigned to each of three different groups: the Aflatoun program, Honest Money Box (HMB) intervention, or a comparison group without treatment. The Aflatoun curriculum includes lessons about planning, budgeting, saving, proper spending, as well as self-esteem building exercises. The HMB intervention, in contrast, is solely focused on financial education and is designed to provide a comparison for Aflatoun’s social curriculum.
Surveys collected data on financial well-being of students and their families, cognitive function, psycho-social measures, and perspectives on savings and time and risk preference.