The Financial Knowledge Scale: An Application of Item Response Theory to the Assessment of Financial Literacy.

  • KNOLL melissa.knoll@ssa.gov M
  • HOUTS crhouts.vpgcontractor@vpgcentral.com C
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Abstract

Despite increasing interest in and funding for financial literacy and financial education programs in the private and public sectors, the field of financial literacy still has a major obstacle to overcome: the lack of a widely disseminated measure of financial literacy, developed through rigorous psychometric analyses. In this article, we develop such a measure, focusing specifically on financial knowledge. Using item response theory (IRT), we analyze items from three national surveys, resulting in a psychometrically sound 20-item financial knowledge scale. By using IRT, the current analysis uses individuals' answers to inform which questions to include in the scale in the first place, rather than simply confirming relationships between these answers and other financially relevant outcomes post hoc. Widespread use of this index and the continued use of modern psychometric techniques would allow for the comparison of financial knowledge, measured consistently and reliably, across studies, populations, and programs. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Educational programs
  • Financial literacy
  • Item response theory
  • Psychometrics

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Authors

  • MELISSA A Z.1 KNOLL melissa.knoll@ssa.gov

  • CARRIE R.2 HOUTS crhouts.vpgcontractor@vpgcentral.com

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