Completed Research

NEFE awards research grants that have the potential to make a profound contribution to the field of financial literacy and seek to improve the public’s financial well-being. Explore findings from our completed research projects below.  

NEFE/Knology Financial Education Database Training Fellowship Webinar Series

In 2019, NEFE awarded a grant to Knology to develop an open-access database and mapping tool to show state-level investments in financial education initiatives. To further utilize these new tools, NEFE and Knology launched a fellowship program for early-career scholars to conduct their own research projects using these resources. At the completion of the fellowship, each fellow participated in a webinar to present their work to NEFE and Knology’s partner audiences.

Making it Stick: Using Cognitive Science and Technology to Enhance the Impact of Financial Education

This project evaluated the effectiveness of learning interventions on participants’ knowledge recall, self-confidence, and behaviors following a credit-focused financial education workshop. It also evaluated how knowledge recall and behavior changed if material was taught and reviewed over a short versus long time span.

Efficacy in Measuring Financial Literacy: NEFE & University of Alabama Research Webinar

Many existing survey instruments measuring financial knowledge include “don’t know” or “refuse to answer” options. Researchers from the University of Alabama studied the impact of including these options in financial knowledge surveys and featured their findings in a webinar hosted by NEFE.

Three New Scales Measure Family Financial Socialization

This project sought to develop three new theoretically-driven and psychometrically-tested scales to measure family financial socialization, which assesses how children learn financial lessons from their parents or other family figures.

LGBTQIA+ Experiences with Financial Education and Services

Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQIA+ Respondents say they’ve experienced discrimination, bias in financial services.

Effective Financial Education: Best State Practices

This research study by Knology examines the impact of greater spending on youth financial education upon measures designed to capture the experiences and challenges of low- and moderate-income Americans.

Amount and time exert independent influences on intertemporal choice

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to Duke University, evaluates how individuals process information to make personal finance decisions. The project uses methods from neuroscience and marketing science to uncover the mechanisms of financial behavior.

Stealth Wealth Project: Literature Review

This report summarizes research on the factors that influence emerging adults’ financial behaviors and decision-making. The authors include research about socialization, demographic factors and individual characteristics of emerging adults.

Working Longer: Evidence and Implications for a Heterogeneous Workforce

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to George Washington University, identifies barriers to implementing phased retirement programs and suggests possible solutions.

Understanding Financial Literacy Decay to Improve Financial Behaviors of Young Adults

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to the University of Rhode Island, examines how financial literacy declines over time, and how knowledge and confidence interact with financial behaviors. Researchers used experimental methods to test how financial information and priming relate to financial literacy, confidence, management and knowledge among the study’s participants.

Diverging Paths: Youth Debt, College and Family Background

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to The Ohio State University, examines student loan debt along with secured and unsecured consumer debt to illustrate the broader financial risk experienced by young adults with education ranging from high school diplomas to graduate degrees.

K-12 Financial Ed Mandates on Student Postsecondary Ed

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to Montana State University, examines how personal finance graduation requirements in high school change whether or not young adults attend college, the types of institutions attended, and the methods by which individuals finance their post-secondary educations.

Financial Fragility in the US: Evidence and Implications

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to George Washington University, analyzes financial fragility measures across two different datasets and gains additional insight from focus groups about people’s capacity to cope with unexpected expenses.

APLUS: Financial Behavior During the Transition to Adulthood

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to University of Minnesota, examines emerging adult financial behavior as a decision making process leading to adult thriving. This is the fifth installment of the longitudinal Arizona Pathways to Life Success (APLUS) study, which has been following a large, diverse college student sample since 2008.

Untangling Determinants of Retirement Savings Balances

This study, funded by a grant from NEFE to The New School, determines how life events (such as unemployment spells, disability, marriage, and divorce) impact retirement savings and how these impacts differ by race, sex and income categories.

Enhancing Retirement Savings with School Financial Education

This study, funded by a NEFE grant to George Washington University, analyzes findings from the OECD’s 2012 PISA financial literacy data and their implications for the development of sustainable retirement systems.

Early Warning Signs of Impaired Financial Skills in Adults

This study identifies very early declines in financial skills and translates these findings into a set of understandable early warning signs accessible to older adults, their families and a range of relevant professionals.

Financial Capability Among Young Adults

This study analyzes financial capability among young adults using the National Financial Capability Study.

The Significance of Gender for Savings and Retirement

Ethnographic study to illuminate how gender affects savings and retirement in diverse populations.

Cognitive Capabilities, Decision-Making, Financial Outcomes

This study, funded by a NEFE grant to Columbia University, explores how differences in decision-making traits translate to real-world financial outcomes.

Financial Behavior, Debt, and Early Life Transitions Insights from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 Cohort

This study, funded by a NEFE grant to The Ohio State University, follows the 1997 Cohort from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to explore financial behavior, debt, and early life transitions among young adults coming of age in the 2000s.

APLUS: Transitioning to Adulthood in Rough Economic Terrain

Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students (APLUS), an investigation at the University of Arizona that follows young adults from their college years to the workforce, is discovering how the majority of young adults are struggling to achieve financial security in their transition from college to adulthood and how this time of passage affects financial attitudes, behaviors and overall well-being.

Financial Literacy and Education on Downstream Behaviors

The purpose of this project was to compare the strength of findings across studies with different designs and different kinds of statistical analyses, all exploring the same core question: What is the connection between financial literacy and the choices that people make about their finances?

APLUS: Changing Financial Behaviors of College Students

Longitudinal research study to look at the connections between financial success and well-being in a diverse group of first-year college students; Wave 2 focuses on young adults' financial capability.

Financial Education Mandates Report

Study of the relationship between exposure to varying state mandates for high school financial education and college students' financial knowledge, dispositions, and behaviors.

APLUS: Financial Well-Being, Coping Behaviors and Trust

Longitudinal research study to look at the connections between financial success and well-being in a diverse group of first-year college students; Wave 1.5 focuses on the impact of the Great Recession on the financial well-being, coping behaviors and trust among young adults.

APLUS: Arizona Pathways to life Success for Students

Longitudinal research study to look at the connections between financial success and well-being in a diverse group of first-year college students; Wave 1 focuses on cultivating Positive financial attitudes and behaviors for healthy adulthood.

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