High School Economic Education and Access to Financial Services

Personal Finance February 06, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF


Grimes, P.W., Rogers, K.E., & Smith, R.C. (2010) High School Economic Education and Access to Financial Services, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44(2), 317-335.

Brief Description: This study examines the relationship between students taking economics and business courses while in high school and their decision to open and maintain a commercial bank account as an adult. The results of a nationwide telephone survey revealed that high school courses in economics and business reduced the probability that an adult was unbanked, holding all else constant. In addition, adults who demonstrated a higher level of understanding of basic economic concepts were less likely to be unbanked.

Implications: Given that commercial bank accounts serve as the gateway to the modern financial system, high school students should be encouraged to take economics and business courses and to learn the basic principles underlying the workings of our global economy. Those who take formal coursework in economics and business, and who understand economic principles, are less likely to be shut out of access to banks and the financial system.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.