About the importance of financial education

About the importance of financial education

Prof François Longin

I came across an interesting publication from the OECD about financial education: Adressing women’s needs for financial education.

It states that “both women and men need to be sufficiently financially literate to effectively participate in economic activities and to take appropriate financial decisions for themselves and their families.” This statement is more and more true because in many countries, the management of risks is gradually shifting from the state to indiviudals: health care, unemployement, pensions. Moreover, the path of careers is more and more volatile and chaotic: individuals may be employed by a company, unemployed, self-employed, etc. More than ever, individuals have to manage their life by bearing the burden of long-term financial decision-making. Financial education is especially important as the financial world becomes more complex.

The OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) collects institutions from more than 100 countries to develop policy analysis and guidance on key relevant financial education issues. Based on a set of studies, the OECD finds that women have lower financial knowledge than men in a large number of countries and it suggests that this calls for policies addressing gender inequalities both in economic opportunities and in financial literacy as a means to improve women’s financial well-being. Policies based on financial education can help women’s financial well-being and widen their financial opportunities by improving their financial knowledge, attitudes, and skills.

The publication from the OECD Adressing women’s needs for financial education presents case studies of financial literacy programmes in different countries and gives policy guidance.

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