Potential and Pitfalls of Applying Theory to the Practice of Financial Education

Authors

  • ANGELA C. LYONS,

    1. 1 Angela C. Lyons is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL (anglyons@uiuc.edu). 2Urvi Neelakantan is an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL (urvi@uiuc.edu).
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  • and 1 URVI NEELAKANTAN 2

    1. 1 Angela C. Lyons is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL (anglyons@uiuc.edu). 2Urvi Neelakantan is an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL (urvi@uiuc.edu).
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Abstract

Researchers are increasingly using interdisciplinary theory to bring rigor to the practice of financial education. Practitioners often do not see the value of the theory because it does not coincide with their observations of how people behave, and researchers do not yet have enough experience with interdisciplinary theory to demonstrate its usefulness to practitioners. If carefully applied, theory can be used to set appropriate financial goals and to positively change consumers’ financial behaviors. Better communication can bridge the gap between theory and practice to the benefit of the consumer.

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