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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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What do 15-year-olds really know about money?

Globalisation and digital technologies have made financial services and products more widely accessible and at the same time more complex to handle. Responsibility for investing in higher education or planning for retirement is increasingly assumed by individuals. Young people are now more likely to encounter situations where they need to set their spending priorities, be aware of new types of fraud, know that some items that they want to buy will incur ongoing costs, and be alert that some purchasing offers are simply too good to be true.

Financial literacy performance is strongly correlated with performance in mathematics and reading.  Students should be helped to make the most of what they learn in subjects taught in compulsory education, which could also be complemented with more specific financial literacy content. Fostering the development of financial literacy skills in school could also be a way to offer students learning opportunities beyond those provided by parents and peers, to help overcome socio-economic inequalities, and to expose students to more balanced messages than those they might receive through media and advertising.

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