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Studies

The Impact of Changes in the Socio-Economic Environment on Financial Literacy
Comparison of the OECD 2010 and 2015 Research Results

Boglárka Zsótér
PhD, Assistant University Lecturer,
Corvinus University of Budapest

Erzsébet Németh
University Professor, Budapest Metropolitan University
Director, State Audit Office of Hungary


Alexandra Luksander
Senior Auditor Counsellor, State Audit Office of Hungary

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2017/2 (p. 250-265.)

SUMMARY: Between 2010 and 2015, the economic and financial situation of Hungary and the Hungarian population was marked by fundamental changes. In our research, we sought to find out how this affected the financial literacy of the population. Our research database was based upon the OECD surveys conducted in 2010 and 2015 on the assessment of domestic financial literacy. The differences between the answers to the same questions of the two surveys were examined by means of regression analysis and variance analysis. We found that there were several significant changes between the two surveys. In 2015, there were fewer persons who entrusted their financial decisions to others, and there is also a lower number of persons struggling with financial problems, but at the same time the number of those preparing budgets and having savings has also decreased. We performed less well in financial knowledge related issues in 2015. From the point of view of attitudes, a shift can be observed towards lower awareness. in 2015, Hungarians were less concerned about their finances, they preferred to spend their money and they were less likely to have long-term goals. The results of the survey show that after the personal financial crisis (indebtedness, constraints, unemployment) observed in the year 2010, Hungarians were experiencing a sense of liberation in 2015: delayed consumption was followed by spending. At the same time, it should be pointed out that this was not achieved by borrowing, but by the use of increased income.

KEYWORDS: OECD, financial literacy, consumer finance, saving behaviour, financial decisions

JEL CODES:
A13, D03, D13, D14, I22


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