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Southern Economic Association

“Racial Differences in the Access to Financial Literacy Education and the Role of Parents” 

In this paper we examine the returns to financial literacy education dependent on source of the education. Using the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) data we are able to identify, conditional on receiving financial literacy education, five different sources of education. We are specifically interested in examining the differences among minority and white access to financial literacy education sources and the impact on returns to financial literacy. Al-Bahrani, Weathers, and Patel (2018) find that returns to financial literacy education for minorities are, on average, lower than whites. Implicit in the model is that all sources of financial literacy education are equal in their quality. Our preliminary results indicate that minorities and whites have different responses to financial literacy education conditional on the source and diversification of exposure. Thus, the differences in returns are in fact measuring the efficacy of different types of education. Policy makers interested in increasing financial literacy for minorities can do so by increasing access to different types of financial literacy education.