Smart tools? A randomized controlled trial on the impact of three different media tools on personal finance

Stefan Angel

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


By using a randomized controlled trial we test the impact of three treatments on financial literacy (knowledge, attitudes, reported behavior) among adolescents in Austria. Treatments comprise a documentary movie on debt, an internet exercise and a budgeting smartphone app. It is investigated if particularly the latter two instruments could serve as standalone alternatives (nudges) to conventional teaching interventions. Users of the budgeting app report to check their current account balance significantly more often than the control group. The web exercise, however, neither raises interest in personal finance issues nor significantly increases basic financial knowledge. The documentary movie did not affect attitudes towards saving or private credits. Even if it is only about raising awareness and interest in financial matters among adolescents, the ICT applications tested in this study thus do not lend strong support to policies solely relying on digital “stand-alone” solutions of similar design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104 - 111
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502046 Economic policy

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