Financial Literacy Education

A Questionable Answer to the Financialization of Everyday Life

Authored by: Jeanne Lazarus

The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138308213
eBook ISBN: 9781315142876
Adobe ISBN:


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Since the end of the 1990s, the idea that all responsible governments must promote financial education policies has been spreading, nationally and internationally. This need is backed up by a repetitive narrative: because of economic instability, the increased role of financial markets in household finances, and the withdrawal of the welfare state, individuals face increasing risks. To address these risks, they must improve their financial literacy, in order to make the most informed choices and transform their behavior. Individuals therefore seem to stand alone against financial risks, with states, backed by financial companies and non-profit organizations, providing them merely with informational tools. In 2015, the OECD counted 59 countries that had implemented national strategies to enhance financial literacy (OECD 2016). The rise of financial literacy is a successful example of the construction of a public problem, carried out by political entrepreneurs using cognitive and semantic strategies.

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