The Long-Term Impact of High School Financial Education: Evidence from Brazil

Last registered on July 19, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

The Long-Term Impact of High School Financial Education: Evidence from Brazil
Initial registration date
July 12, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 19, 2023, 2:23 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Central Bank of Brazil
PI Affiliation
Central Bank of Brazil
PI Affiliation
The World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
As the financial system expands to new clients and services, countries are promoting financial education, with unknown long-run returns. In 2011, we studied the short-run impact of a comprehensive financial education program through a randomized controlled trial with 892 high schools in Brazil. This paper uses administrative data for 16,000 students over the next nine years to measure the program’s long-term impact. We find that treatment students are less likely to borrow from expensive sources or to make delayed loan repayments than control students. The program also caused students to shift from formal jobs to microenterprise ownership.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bruhn, Miriam et al. 2023. "The Long-Term Impact of High School Financial Education: Evidence from Brazil." AEA RCT Registry. July 19.
Experimental Details


We study a comprehensive financial education program for public high school students in Brazil. The program was developed and implemented as part of the National Strategy for Financial Education (ENEF). It spanned a 17-month period across the 2010 and 2011 academic years, and was integrated into classroom curricula of Mathematics, Science, History, and Portuguese. The instruction used new textbooks with interactive classroom exercises on financial education themes, take-home exercises such as creating household budgets with parents, and role-play assignments. The textbooks covered nine themes: everyday family life, social life, personal property, work, entrepreneurship, large expenditures, public goods, the country’s economy, and the world economy.

The curriculum was complemented by teacher training, web learning tools, and instructor handbooks. Furthermore, the learning was continuous throughout the school year, which stands in contrast to typical workshop-based financial education programs that are delivered in one shot and vary in length from 90 minutes to a few hours. As such, the intensity of treatment of this program was much stronger than typical one-off financial education workshops.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Use of different credit products
- Default on credit
- Microenterprise ownership and formal employment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our sample includes 892 public high schools in six Brazilian states. These schools were assigned their treatment status through stratified and matched randomization, with schools within each state matched into pairs based on their pre-existing school- and community-level characteristics. Within each pair, one school was then randomly assigned as treatment while the other served as control.

Treated schools received financial education material and teacher training. Control schools did not receive any material or training but participated in surveys and testing in the same manner as the treated schools. One eleventh grade class in each school participated in our study. Treated classes received the first semester of financial education during the second semester of eleventh grade (Fall 2010) and the second and third semesters of financial education throughout twelfth grade (Spring 2011 and Fall 2011), the last year of high school. Most students in the sample were between 15 and 17 years of age at the start of the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
892 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
25,000 students at time of randomization 16,000 students with long-term follow-up data
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
440 treatment schools, 452 control schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials