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NZ university students score in financial literacy quiz

NZ university students score much better than their English counterparts

January 23, 2014

A survey of New Zealand university students has found they scored almost 20 percent better in a financial literacy quiz than their English counterparts.

Students from the University of Canterbury (UC) performed significantly better than their counterparts at Bristol’s University of the West of England in a financial literacy quiz, UC economics lecturer Steve Agnew says.

`` We also found that in both countries, females performed about 10 percent lower than male students.

``In a related survey, carried out late last year, we also asked financial questions to nearly 1500 students at 18 Christchurch secondary schools.

``This showed that financial literacy in the home is an important influence in later life. It has more effect than doing a financial literacy course at school in terms of financial literacy knowledge and attitudes.

``Poorer performance by females in financial literacy quizzes may be due to differences in exposure to financial literacy concepts and discussions in the home between girls and boys.

``Poorer performance in financial literacy quizzes by females is commonplace in the literature.

``On average, girls are one year older than boys when they have their first financial discussion with their parents. It is the same across school deciles as well.

``Another significant result was that girls are more likely than boys to disagree with statements such as: `I think I am a smart shopper; I know how much money I have in my wallet or purse right now; my parents often talk to me about financial security; and my parents are role models for me about managing my financial affairs’.

``Getting a later start in life in terms of first discussing finances with parents correlated with lower financial literacy test scores when students are aged 15.

``Girls are being impacted on in later life in terms of their financial attitudes and knowledge, due at least in part to the home environment. Parents may need to make sure they give girls the same exposure to financial literacy as boys in the home,’’ Agnew says.


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