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Seminar V: Assessing Financial Education: Evidence from a Personal Financial Management Course

Speaker
William Skimmyhorn
Assistant Professor of Economics and the Deputy Director of the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis, USMA West Point


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Abstract
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Date/Time
November 21, 2013
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Reception to follow

Location
The George Washington University
Room 651, Duquès Hall
2201 G Street NW (22nd Street entrance)
Metro: Foggy Bottom Station


Financial Literacy Talks: Interviews with Financial Literacy Thought Leaders

Biographical Statement: William Skimmyhorn

Major William Skimmyhorn is an Assistant Professor of Economics and the Deputy Director of the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis at USMA West Point. He earned a B.S. in Economics at West Point in 1997, and M.A. in International Policy Studies and an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2012. His primary areas of research are labor economics, household finance, human capital and behavioral economics. .

Abstract

Assessing Financial Education: Evidence from a Personal Financial Management Course

This research estimates the effects of financial education on a variety of financial outcomes using a large natural experiment within the U.S. Army. I find that Personal Financial Management Course (PFMC) attendance and enrollment assistance doubles retirement savings, with significant effects throughout the contribution distribution that persist through at least two years. The course has weaker but suggestive effects on credit market outcomes including account balances (credit cards, automobile loans and finance loans) and aggregate monthly credit payments in the first year after soldiers finish their initial job training. The PFMC has no significant effects on military labor market outcomes including measures of performance, productivity, and retention behavior through 4 years. Overall, the results suggest that financial education, coupled with assistance and advice, can improve financial outcomes in a number of areas.