Social and Cultural Capital Predictors of Adolescents’ Financial Literacy: Family and School Influences

Adela García Aracil, Isabel Neira, Cecilia Albert
Revista de Educación

This study focuses on the effects of social and cultural capital on 15-year-old scholars¿ achievements in financial literacy. We use data from 13 OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries participating in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA 2012). The hierarchical structure of the PISA data allow us to examine the influence of the socio-cultural capital components at the individual and school level. For that purpose, different hierarchical liner models are estimated with the aim to observe the differences among students in financial literacy performance according to individual and school characteristics, highlighting social and cultural capital issues. Therefore, multilevel models are adopted to understand how adolescents' academic performance is influenced by family background and school context. In general, our results show that both social and cultural capital at the individual and school level affect positively to student¿s financial literacy. In more detail, results indicate that families with high levels of cultural capital and parents who encourage discussion of social issues have a clear positive influence on adolescents' financial literacy. The results also show a positive effect on the financial performance of adolescents attending schools that offer music, drama, volunteering programmes and maths competitions, combined with good student-teacher relationships and good engagement of parents in school activities. The study here proposed confirms that young scholars should not be considered as a homogeneous group by policy makers designing instruments to foster and improve children¿s financial literacy. In this sense, educational reforms must be carefully considered. Although our focus is on a narrow set of cognitive variables such as financial literacy, it is stress the need for more research to complement this work. We need to consider socio-emotional outcome variables to enable a more rounded study of adolescents¿ academic performance, including their attitudes to school and to learning, among others.