Interventions Designed to Improve Financial Capability: A Systematic Review

Interventions Designed to Improve Financial Capability: A Systematic Review published in Research on Social Work 
Authors: Julie Birkenmaier, Brandy Maynard, Youngmi Kim
First Published March 26, 2022

Purpose: This study’s aim is to review and synthesize the scientific evidence for financial capability interventions that combine financial education and financial products and services to affect financial behavior. Method: A systematic review process was used to search for, screen, and extract data from relevant studies. Following descriptive analysis, we calculated effect sizes. Results: After excluding duplicates, non-relevant and ineligible reports, this review included 24 unique studies. This review identified several different types of previously evaluated financial capability interventions. Few interventions were evaluated by more than one study that measured the same or similar outcomes. Therefore, evidence is sparse about whether financial capability interventions improved participants’ financial behaviors and/or outcomes. Conclusion: While each type of financial capability intervention has a unique evidence base, this lack of evidence across financial capability interventions points to the need to develop a more definitive evidence base for financial capability interventions about the financial outcomes.

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