Brazil - Financial Education for School Children and Parents


  • PROJECT TITLE: Financial Education for School Children and Parents
  • TARGET SEGMENT: High school students and their parents
  • DELIVERY CHANNEL: Textbook with financial education case studies incorporated into the existing high school curriculum; parent workshops in schools with financial education videos
  • EVALUATION TEAM: Rogelio Marchetti (World Bank), Miriam Bruhn (World Bank), Bilal Zia (World Bank)
  • PARTNERS: Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), Bovespa Brasil-Sao Paulo Stock Exchange
  • TIMELINE: August 2010 – June 2012


This study is the first large-scale, rigorous, impact evaluation to measure whether a high school-based financial education program can successfully change financial knowledge, attitudes, and behavior among students and their parents. The results of this study will inform the roll-out of the program to other public schools in Brazil. They will also be useful for other governments in developing countries that are considering the possibility of introducing financial education programs in schools.

Improving the financial capability of the population so that citizens are able to make effective decisions around personal finances is especially pertinent in Brazil, where the rapid evolution of the financial markets has resulted in many inexperienced and vulnerable consumers accessing different financial products and services, often with very negative consequences.

A 2008 survey found that 82% of Brazilian consumers were unaware of the interest rate when borrowing money, that overdue installments were mostly caused by poor financial management, and that the saving rate of Brazilians is low, even among affluent families. The survey also showed that 87% of families do not save for the future, and that 40% do not make any sort of investments with excess income.

This research project is divided into two parts: (i) measuring the impact of financial literacy programs for high school students on their financial knowledge acquisition and changes in financial decision making and behavior of their households; and (ii) measuring the impact of a financial literacy program for parents of high school children. The behavior changes to be measured include changes in household financial attitudes and decisions, and subsequently changes in household’s consumption, income, health and education expenditures. Information on financial knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors will be collected through surveys at the student and household levels.

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