Can financial literacy education reduce the use of Medicaid and SNAP?
Abstract: In recent decades, we have seen an increase in both the complexity of financial markets and the
expectations of individual responsibility for people’s financial decision-making. Policies supporting
financial literacy education are promoted as a way to decrease reliance on social safety nets. The
assumption is that low levels of financial literacy translate to lower economic outcomes and, thus,
increased dependence on social programs. We use the 2018 National Financial Capabilities Study to
investigate the possible relationship between high school mandated financial literacy education and
social program participation and find no evidence of such a relationship.
Published: April, 2020