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Evaluating the school pilot program for economic education

To enhance economic and financial literacy, the Austrian foundation for economic education (Stiftung für Wirtschaftsbildung) has initiated a four-year school pilot program aimed at assisting selected schools in integrating a focus on economic education in their curriculum. In collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) and the University of Duisburg-Essen, we are conducting a comprehensive scientific evaluation of the school pilot program to generate evidence-based insights. To achieve this objective, we are employing a quasi-experimental mixed-methods evaluation approach.

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Mann mit Laptop

Evaluation toolkit

Financial and digital literacy are widely regarded as essential skills for citizens of the 21st century. The accelerating pace of technological innovations within the financial industry entail a multitude of new possibilities and challenges for our financial lives.  Against this backdrop, policymakers worldwide acknowledge the increasing importance of initiatives and programmes needed to teach people to manage their money, build up financial resilience and ultimately achieve financial well-being. Efforts in this area need to be carefully reviewed to see whether these initiatives and programs achieve their intended goals. To address this need, we are working on a toolkit which will provide methodological guidelines for designing and implementing comprehensive and rigorous evaluation studies. Moreover, we will offer a review of the literature that answers the question: Which initiatives work, for whom in which settings?

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Evaluating the “Geldwert – Wertvoll” educational program in kindergartens

In September 2023, the one-year pilot project “Geldwert – Wertvoll“ was launched at public Lower Austrian kindergartens (district of Bruck an der Leitha). The project is a collaboration between the OeNB, the regional government of Lower Austria and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection. With this project, we aim to promote financial education (topics around money and saving), consumer education (consumer protection) and values education (living sustainably) in kindergartens. We evaluate the implementation of the one-year pilot project to provide empirical evidence on the implementation of the newly created educational materials. To this end, we apply a participatory mixed-methods evaluation design which focuses on qualitative methods.

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Lehrperson Frau

Studying the perceptions and needs of active and prospective teachers

Financial literacy is becoming increasingly important in the school curriculum, serving as a vital foundation to prepare students for the financial challenges they face now and in the future. By incorporating financial education into the subject of Geography and Economic Education, as well as making it an interdisciplinary topic, we all aim to equip young students with the knowledge they need to make informed and responsible decisions. Teachers of Geography and Economic Education play a key role in imparting financial literacy to students. Which services can the OeNB offer to support teachers and teachers to-be in this area? We explored this question through a study utilizing focus groups and surveys.

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The national financial literacy strategy for Austria – monitoring and evaluation

The national financial literacy strategy for Austria, which was established in 2021, defined a series of specific goals to foster the public’s awareness, understanding and skills concerning financial matters. The long-term goal is to enhance financial well-being among the Austrian population. A broad coalition of national institutions dedicated to financial literacy is supporting this strategy with a range of educational initiatives. We monitor the successes, and any untapped potential, of these collective efforts in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the MCI (The Entrepreneurial School®). Starting in 2023, our monitoring involves the annual collection and analysis of data on the existing initiatives to provide a comprehensive overview of the financial education landscape available in Austria.

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OECD/INFE International Survey on Adult Financial Literacy

What do people know about their finances and how do they manage their money? The OECD’s International Network on Financial Education (INFE) launched a survey in 2014/2015 to find answers to these questions. Countries from around the world participate in this survey every three years. It provides a solid foundation for the further development of national financial literacy strategies and initiatives. The survey especially helps identify room for improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral practices, and helps establish a link between financial education and financial well-being. In the latest wave in 2023, questions on digital finance education were added to account for changes in personal financial management due to digitalization. In Austria, the data is collected and analyzed by the OeNB. Insights are shared with other interested parties through publications and incorporated into the further development of Austria’s national financial literacy strategy through various committees.

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