Assessing the levels of financial literacy in the population is a key component of a successful national strategy for financial education, enabling policy makers to identify gaps and design appropriate responses. International comparisons increase the value of such an assessment by enabling countries to benchmark themselves with other countries. Where similar patterns are identified across countries, national authorities can work together to find common methods for improving financial literacy within their respective populations.
Addressing a call by G20 Leaders to develop practical tools for financial literacy measurement, the OECD is inviting countries to use a toolkit incorporating a survey instrument that can be used to capture key information about financial behaviour, knowledge and attitudes in a wide range of countries with different income levels and allows international comparisons.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has tested 15 year-olds on their knowledge of personal finances and ability to apply it to their financial problems. This is the first large-scale international study to assess the financial literacy of young people. The results of this assessment were released in July 2014.
The results highlight a lack of financial knowledge amongst a sizeable proportion of the population in each of the countries surveyed. Furthermore, there is considerable room for improvement in terms of financial behaviour. Attitudes are shown to vary widely.
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