General – Research

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004




National Disability Institute, Washington, DC

Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities

The National Disability Institute (NDI) will use data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study to examine the impact of disability on financial capability. NDI will also study how financial capability varies by disability type and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The findings will provide information critical for developing and implementing financial education programs for people with disabilities.
Grant amount: $100,000

New York University, New York, NY

The Effects of Using Interactive Disclosures of Consumers’ Investment Behavior, Disclosure Understanding and Decision Competence

New York University, in partnership with the University of Southern California, will use its experimental online saving platform to study the effects of interactive online disclosures on consumers’ investment behavior, disclosure understanding and perception of making an informed decision. In particular, researchers will examine how different interactive disclosures impact consumers' willingness to invest, choice of funds, understanding of key features of investment products and subjective perceptions of making sound investment decisions.
Grant amount: $101,164




Urban Institute, Washington, DC

Health Insurance, Financial Knowledge, and the Risk of Medical Debt

A research team from the Urban Institute will use data from both the 2012 and 2015 waves of the National Financial Capability Study to explore relationships among financial knowledge, medical debt, and health insurance. The first phase of the study will examine the relative importance of financial knowledge and health insurance to the accumulation of debt. The second phase of the study will explore the emerging problem of medical debt and the consequent financial strain.
Grant amount: $155,000




University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

The Relationship between Financial Capability and Young Adults' Financial Behaviors
The University of Kansas is using data from the 2012 FINRA Foundation National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) to evaluate whether financial capability interventions can help improve the financial behavior of young adults, including those from low-income households. In the context of the proposed research, financial capability is defined as the combination of financial knowledge and access to financial products that provide opportunities for experiential learning. Proxies for financial knowledge include participation in a formal personal finance education experience and performance on the NFCS battery of financial literacy questions.
Grant amount: $59,821


University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD

Psychological Well-Being and Financial Capability
The research team will merge the American Life Panel (ALP) data sample from the National Financial Capability Study with two additional ALP datasets to investigate the correlation between psychosocial well-being and financial capability. In the combined dataset, psychosocial well-being will be measured by ratings of subjective well-being and stress induced by major life events (such as loss of a job or death of a spouse). Measures of financial capability will include the respondents' financial knowledge along with financial behaviors and attitudes (for example, the ability to make ends meet, planning for the future, perceptions of indebtedness, and willingness to take financial risk). Advanced statistical techniques will allow researchers to analyze the new dataset and add to our understanding about how psychosocial well-being and financial capability are related.
Grant amount: $88,193




Boston College Center for Retirement Research, Chestnut Hill, MA

What Do Self-Assessments of Financial Well-Being Reflect?
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College will use data from the National Financial Capability Study to examine the relationship between a household's assessment of its current financial condition and different factors that contribute to financial well-being. The study will investigate whether household self-assessments of financial condition primarily reflect day-to-day (rather than longer-term) concerns and whether age, income, education and financial literacy affect the extent to which retirement savings deficits are reflected in household self-assessments of financial condition.
Grant amount: $108,722


Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

State-Mandated Financial Education and Later-Life Financial Well-Being
Using the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Credit Panel data and the National Financial Capability Study data, researchers will investigate the effect of states' various high school financial education requirements on students' later-life financial well-being.
Grant amount: $71,807




George Washington University, Washington, DC

Workplace Financial Education for Newly Hired Workers
Faculty at George Washington University and North Carolina State University are preparing a report describing practical, cost-effective strategies that employers can pursue to encourage new employees to save for retirement. The report will examine automatic retirement savings enrollment features, share worker perspectives on financial information provided to them by their employers, and describe low-cost informational nudges that can increase retirement savings. The report will also provide guidance to employers seeking to assess their current plan designs and educational efforts.
Grant amount:$33,000




North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

A Web-Based Fraud Risk Assessment Tool
Researchers at NC State and George Mason University are partnering with a technology firm to create a user-friendly fraud detection tool based on comparisons of financial and non-financial disclosures in SEC 10K filings. The team used a previous Foundation grant to design and validate a prototype tool. The success of that effort forms the basis for the current project, which will operationalize the tool and make it widely available to regulators, auditors and investors.
Grant amount:$454,378



Innovations for Poverty Action, New Haven, CT

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Financial Education and Commitment Savings Contracts
Researchers are investigating the extent to which commitment contracts improve the financial well-being of low-income individuals. Based on behavioral finance, commitment contracts help clients acquire the discipline to reach self-defined goals. Credit Where Credit is Due, a New York City nonprofit that facilitates wealth building through financial education and community partnerships with credit unions and others, is helping researchers facilitate randomized controlled field experiments and providing financial education.
Grant amount:$490,600

The Ohio State University Research Foundation, Columbus, OH

Learning by Doing: Educating Future Investors through IDA Programs
Researchers are investigating the effectiveness of behavioral finance strategies in improving saving and retention rates in individual development account (IDA) programs. The project is also examining the extent to which IDA program participation influences the use of non-mainstream financial services (e.g. pay-day lending) and identifying IDA best practices. Partners include Carnegie Mellon University, Assets Ohio (the fourth largest IDA program provider in the U.S.) and the New Strategies for Stronger Outcomes Initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Grant amount:$154,673

Trustees of Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

A Study of U.S. Financial Literacy: Evidence and Policy Implications
The research is analyzing new and forthcoming data from large-set national surveys to understand better the relationship between financial literacy and financial well-being. The study is examining the link between financial literacy and key behaviors, such as retirement planning, wealth accumulation, investing and managing debt. Recommendations will focus on reaching groups most in need of financial education and designing effective educational programs and consumer protection policies. Published articles resulting from the study are available in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$248,585

United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Special Programs Corporation, Fairfax, VA

Fat Pockets Wealth-Building Program
UNCF Special Programs is undertaking a knowledge, attitudes and behaviors study for the purpose of informing the design of a comprehensive financial education program for students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). More than two dozen HBCUs are participating. The effort begins with a review of existing research and includes surveys, focus groups and other market research among students, faculty and alumni/ae. Deliverables include a detailed programmatic plan for meeting the financial literacy needs of HBCU students ages 18 to 24.
Grant amount:$417,002



Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

The Development of Superior Personal Investing Performance
Florida State researchers are attempting to identify investment related activities associated with wealth accumulation within American households using a variety of self-report methods including a questionnaire-based survey and household diary logs. Complete research findings and presentation materials are posted in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$341,511

Learning Point Associates, Chicago, IL

A National Evaluation of the Stock Market Game on Students' Academic Achievement in Mathematics and Investment Knowledge
Learning Point Associates is analyzing how The Stock Market Game affects student achievement in investment knowledge and mathematics. This project will also survey students to understand their satisfaction with the program. A teacher survey will examine how program implementation relates to teachers' investment practices. Published articles resulting from the study are available in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$484,782

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Using Nonfinancial Measures to Assess the Risk of Fraudulent Financial Reporting and Improve Retail Investor Protection
NC State is creating a prototype Web-based tool to help investors, auditors and regulators detect fraud in financial statements by comparing financial information with nonfinancial data. The validity of the Web-based tool and its uses will be evaluated through empirical analyses. Complete research findings and presentation materials are posted in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$330,980

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Evaluating Employer-Provided Financial Education Programs for Pre-Retirees
Researchers from NC State University will collaborate with human resources managers to evaluate the extent to which workplace education programs improve employees' ability to understand their options relating to timing of retirement, the age at which to begin Social Security and pension benefits, Medicare, annuitization and other matters pertaining to asset management in retirement. The project will result in practical papers, research papers and a template for helping employers evaluate their pre-retirement programs. Download the findings in this document (PDF 1 MB) or visit the project website for more information.
Grant amount:$386,763

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Pitfalls of Investor Decision-Making in Social Interaction Context
Princeton University researchers will examine the impact of social interactions with financial professionals on investor decision-making. The grant will study how financial professionals may exert influence on investors by (1) using the trappings of status and authority, especially professional designations, to gain investors' trust; (2) eliciting manic exuberance from investors by providing too much information too fast; and (3) placing social pressure on investors. The grant also will test the effectiveness of methods to reduce the influence of these biases. Download a PDF copy of the preliminary findings (PDF 39 KB).
Grant amount:$111,019



National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA

Managing Risk and Minimizing Fees
Researchers at NBER are determining whether disclosure policies can mitigate two types of cognitive errors common among individual investors. The first error is the narrow framing fallacy, wherein investors evaluate risk in isolation rather than in the context of their overall portfolio. The second error is the failure to consider mutual fund management fees. The team is conducting experiments to test different forms of disclosure and their impact on helping investors understand risk and minimize fees. Published articles resulting from the study are available in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$432,850

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Individual Differences in Financial Risk Taking Across Lifespan
An interdisciplinary team headquartered at Stanford is employing historical, psychological and neural methods to analyze individual differences in financial risk-taking at various stages of the life-cycle. The research will identify characteristics that predict optimal risk-taking and mistakes. A resulting Web-based tool will help individuals assess their financial risk-taking and optimize their financial decisions. Complete research findings and presentation materials are posted in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$401,514

University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

How Investors Are Facing the Longevity Risk: The Role of Annuities
Focusing on the use of annuities, UCLA researchers are studying how individual investors are facing longevity risk. They are surveying a broad base of investors to determine: 1) the extent to which investors are addressing longevity risk and their preferred methods of doing so; 2) whether annuities can provide a solution to the challenge; and 3) what features of annuities make them unattractive to the individual investor. The goal is to propose changes to the current features of annuities to make them more attractive to investors. These changes will be tested through a series of surveys and laboratory experiments.
Grant amount:$484,000

University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Financial Reporting Simplification: Understanding Investor Decision-Making Behavior and Disclosure Preferences
The University of Central Florida project is seeking ways to reduce disclosure complexity. In particular, researchers are examining how disclosures made in management's discussion and analysis (MD&A) and the footnotes accompanying financial statements are used by institutional and retail investors. Each group is being studied as part of a systematic examination of the value and relevance of current disclosures, an understanding of desired disclosures in the MD&A and insights into presentation preferences. Published articles resulting from the study are available in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$324,125



Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship , Chestnut Hill, MA

Corporate Reporting of Social, Industry Cohort and Governance Information: What Investors Want
The Boston College team used surveys and experiments to examine the provision of non-financial information in disclosure to investors, specifically to identify the optimal balance between comprehensive disclosure and information overload. Researchers determined the extent to which investors value non-financial information on key social, industry cohort and governance factors. Download the findings (PDF 422 KB). Read the executive summary (PDF 64 KB).
Grant amount:$295,641

College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Experiments on Investment Choice: Annuities versus Lump Sum Payments
William & Mary researchers are examining how information content and delivery interact with perceived risk to affect an investor's choice between a retirement annuity and a lump sum payment. The research makes use of simulations that might be useful as educational tools, and includes college students, working adults and retirees in controlled laboratory experiments. Preliminary research findings are published in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$252,649

National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), Alexandria, VA

K-12 Financial Literacy—Policy and Practice
NASBE convened a commission composed of state boards of education members and others active in the area of financial literacy to examine current practices and develop a set of recommendations policymakers and educators can use to integrate financial literacy into K-12 education. The commission's recommendations are available in the report, Who Will Own Our Children?
Grant amount:$147,623

Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, OH

Research-based Investment Education Guidelines for Black and Hispanic Households
Ohio State researchers are examining racial and ethnic influences on investment behavior. Their work gauges recent investor trends within the target populations (African-Americans and Hispanics), and evaluates existing educational materials in light of the findings. Published articles resulting from the study are available in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$140,880

University of Connecticut, Stamford, CT

Effects of Visual Primes on Improving Web Disclosure to Investors
Researchers at the University of Connecticut examined how visual priming influences investors' preferences, comprehension and retention of disclosure information. Their study differentiates outcomes between expert and novice online investors, and has important implications for regulators seeking to understand how mutual fund disclosure can be designed to provide greater guidance to the average retail investor. Download a PDF copy of the research findings (PDF 818 KB).
Grant amount:$111,599



Consumer Federation of America, Washington, DC

Consumer Knowledge of Mutual Fund Products and Information Services
Using feedback from experts, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) identified the knowledge required for sound mutual fund investing. Researchers analyzed investor knowledge levels about mutual fund products and examined educational resources available to the investing public. CFA also convened experts to discuss the research findings, the ways consumers wish to receive the information and the resulting implications for educating investors. Download a PDF copy (PDF 296 KB) of the research findings.
Grant amount:$73,760

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Understanding Significant Factors that Explain Gender Differences in Investments
Researchers at Iowa State analyzed gender roles in investment behavior through a national survey examining personal, environmental and cultural factors. The study identified teachable moments, key topics and educational strategies. The project also developed recommendations for educators and practitioners, with the goal of promoting wise investment behaviors in women. Findings are available in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$202,708

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Overcoming Psychological Biases to Promote Wise Investing
Princeton researchers examined psychological biases that play a role in poor investment decisions, and developed and tested a set of interventions to promote wise investing by mitigating these biases. Download a PDF summary (PDF 376 KB) of research results.
Grant amount:$77,400

Rutgers University School of Business, Camden, NJ

Exploring Solutions to the Fund Assortment Problem
The Rutgers team examined the correlation between fund assortment and the quality of investment decisions. Through a national survey imitative of a 401(k) fund enrollment process, researchers studied the role demographic, attitudinal and decision-making styles play in decision quality. They also identified those investors most susceptible to mistakes and tested solutions to mitigate the problems created by large fund assortments in 401(k) plans. Download a PDF summary (PDF 489 KB) of research findings.
Grant amount:$73,404

WISE Senior Services, Santa Monica, CA

Off the Hook Again: Understanding Why the Elderly are Victimized by Economic Fraud Crimes
WISE Senior Services and its research team conducted focus groups and surveys with victims and nonvictims to learn more about why the elderly are frequently victimized by investment fraud. Findings have advanced our understanding of fraud vulnerability among the elderly, and provided a basis for shaping practical marketing messages to increase investment fraud awareness among seniors. The project was a collaboration with AARP. Complete research findings and presentation materials are posted in the Resource Center.
Grant amount:$127,729