Journal of Business and entrepreneurial
January - March Vol. 7 - 1 - 2023
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
Receipt: 09 july 2022
Approval: 12 October 2022
Page 7-18
Level of financial education: a study of high school
Nivel de educación financiera: estudio en estudiantes de
Natalia Lizbeth Chimbo Cabrera
Jorge Luis López-Lapo
Financial education is becoming increasingly
important given the growing number of products
offered by financial markets and their impact on the
economic development of a country and the quality
of life of its citizens. The objective of this work is
focused on to measure the level of financial
knowledge of the students of the "Elvia Jiménez de
González" Educational Unit ; for this purpose, an
exploratory-descriptive research was carried out, in
which 56 students were surveyed. For the analysis
and processing of the information collected, the tools
PSPP and spreadsheets were used for subsequent
interpretation. The results revealed that the students
are at level 4 in relation to knowledge of financial
education. The research concludes the need to
continue providing financial education programs that
will allow in the medium and long term to strengthen
students' financial skills and knowledge.
Keywords: financial literacy, financial decisions,
students, personal finance, skills
La educación financiera cobra cada vez más
importancia dado el creciente número de productos
que ofrecen los mercados financieros y su impacto
en el desarrollo económico de un país y la calidad de
* Bachelor's Degree in Finance, Universidad Nacional de Loja,,
* Master's Degree in Business Management, Universidad Nacional de Loja,,
e-ISSN: 2576-0971. January - March Vol. 7 - 1 - 2023 .
vida de los ciudadanos. El objetivo del presente
trabajo se centra en medir el nivel de conocimiento
financiero que poseen los estudiantes de la Unidad
Educativa “Elvia Jiménez de González”; para ello se
realiza una investigación de carácter exploratorio -
descriptivo, en el cual fueron encuestados 56
estudiantes. Para el análisis y procesamiento de la
información recopilada se utilizó las herramientas
PSPP y hojas de cálculo para su posterior
interpretación. Los resultados revelaron que los
estudiantes se ubican en un nivel 4 en relación a
conocimientos de educación financiera. La
investigación concluye la necesidad de seguir
impartiendo programas de educación financiera que
permita en el mediano y largo plazo fortalecer la
habilidades y conocimientos financieros en los
Palabras clave: conocimiento financiero,
decisiones financieras, estudiantes, finanzas
personales, habilidades
Financial education is defined as the process through which people better understand
financial products and risks, developing skills to make more informed decisions with the
risks that these decisions entail. The main characteristic of financial education and
personal finance is to enable people to make coherent decisions in their daily activities,
due to the accelerated growth of financial products that are becoming more complex
every day; within this scenario, financial education has the power to provide information
and tools on the functioning of the economy at a general level, giving priority in daily life.
To analyze the topic in question, it is essential to know that today's world is increasingly
demanding in the various aspects in which we interact with other actors in our
economies, in addition to the great development of information and communication
technologies, finance is no exception, which leads to a sea of new knowledge that
requires greater preparation and development of specific skills to achieve the success
desired by each individual.
The World Bank presented a report in 2015, and gives an overview of the level of
financial literacy of citizens worldwide. The report is based on a survey conducted by
telephone in 2014 to more than 140,000 adults (over 15 years old) of 140 nationalities,
consisting of four basic questions on risk diversification, inflation, and simple and
compound interest rate; according to the results obtained, only 33% of the world
population exceeds this threshold (Lopez, 2015). In 2015 Standard and Poorʾs with the
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collaboration of the World Bank conducted a study with issues related to financial
education from which it could be determined that only 1% of the world population would
have received financial education, based on these results it can be verified that illiteracy
in the matter of finance is really alarming (Haba et al., 2018).
In developing countries, especially in Latin America, the young population (between 15
and 24 years old) represents about one fifth of them, and its impact can be even more
significant due to the greater ease with which young people learn and innovate, which
makes this segment of the population very attractive for faster and more effective
bankarization. However, one challenge facing financial education aimed at young people
is that this segment is characterized by a high degree of impatience. Regarding the means
of dissemination, there are those who propose that the most effective way to educate
financially is through a subject in the curricula of schools (Gómez, 2009).
In this way, the importance of educational preparation that allows the individual to
acquire financial knowledge and skills is evident, considering that people begin to be
linked to the economic reality almost always from the everyday life of the home, based
on family economic activities and experiences.
In the Ecuadorian context, the result of the I Financial Education Day organized by the
Association of Private Banks of Ecuador (ABPE) in 2016 stands out, in which the results
of the report of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) with 1200 people
surveyed were presented, from which it was highlighted that 41% of the population does
not have a savings culture or does so with methods that do not involve financial
institutions (Méndez & Quimis, 2018)..
Financial education is now recognized as a fundamental economic issue by international
organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations (UNICEF) and UNESCO,
which have warned about the need to develop and deepen the financial capacity of the
world's population. As a result, financial education has begun to be recognized by public
policy makers in Latin American countries as an important part of the dynamics of
economic growth (López et al., 2022).
The BAC-Credomatic Financial Network (2008) states that financial education has
become important for all people and not only for those who have a high participation in
the financial markets or are engaged in investment tasks. Financial education contributes
to improving the quality of life and is an educational process through which people
become aware of the importance of developing skills, abilities and knowledge in the
management of personal and family finances, through the knowledge and use of the basic
tools and instruments of financial life.
Under the concepts mentioned above by different authors, it can be considered that
financial education has become a basic pillar to promote national development, because
it allows the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities to understand how money
works and how to invest to improve their quality of life through the development of
financial competencies that enable autonomous and conscious decision making, with the
help of the appropriate and responsible use of financial products and services.
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From the point of view of Estrada et al., (2017) define personal finance as: "all financial
decisions and activities that include household income and expenditure budgeting,
savings, investments, mortgages, insurance and all other decisions that require money,
establishing short-term and long-term objectives". Personal finance is largely related to
the family economy and the consumer economy, because the family economy maintains
close links with the economy of the individuals that make up the family unit, as well as,
in the economy, consumption dynamizes the market.
For their part, Rojas et al., (2017) state that personal finance is a set of concepts, tools
and skills required to solve problems and for the correct management of family and
personal economic resources, therefore, personal finance represents the financial
situation of a person, and is related to the problems faced by each individual to manage
their resources and decide the most appropriate way to manage them.
According to García et al. (2013), they recognize that the insertion of financial education
in schools is one of the fundamental elements of a national strategy and the most
effective way to impact an entire generation. Furthermore, financial education in schools
is the most efficient method of spreading financial literacy and creating the conditions to
have a positive impact on the community at large, including parents.
In view of this perspective, it is of utmost importance that this topic includes a broad
approach in educational institutions; likewise, the family environment plays a crucial role
as it is where values are managed on a daily basis, with the purpose of covering the debts
that are acquired to solve the economy of a household; that is why talking about financial
education with young people somehow fosters in them a prosperous financial culture so
that later on they manage their money and do not get into debt beyond their ability to
The research has been organized under the main objective of measuring the level of
financial knowledge possessed by high school students of the "Elvia Jiménez de González"
Educational Unit, because many times the lack of knowledge or the so-called financial
illiteracy leads young people to make incorrect decisions about their personal finances.
Finally, this work proposes the following research question: What is the level of financial
knowledge and personal finances that high school students of the "Elvia Jiménez de
González" Educational Unit have?
The methodology applied in this research work was exploratory and descriptive, with
the collection of information on the level of financial knowledge of high school students
of the "Elvia Jimenez de Gonzalez" Educational Unit. In order to obtain the data, a
structured questionnaire was developed, divided into categories: general data and
financial knowledge, structured in 10 questions related to financial education and
personal finances.
The total population under study consisted of 56 students specifically comprised of first,
second and third year students of the Unified General High School of the Educational
Unit "Elvia Jiménez de González", located in the Rumishitana neighborhood, belonging
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to the Malacatos parish, canton and province of Loja, which works in the morning and
offers the educational levels of Initial Education, General Basic Education (EGB) and
Unified General High School (BGU). The application of the instrument was carried out
in person; and with respect to data processing, the PSPP tool and spreadsheets were
used to tabulate the information for later interpretation.
For the assignment of the score to each question of the survey applied, a matrix was
used in which 4 components were considered , the distributions are expressed with a
determined weight, the weights and the components were considered based on the
weighting applied by the (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
Table 1.
Score distribution according to content.
Money and transactions
This content area includes understanding the different forms and
uses of money and the management of foreign exchange
transactions, which may include spending or payments,
considering value for money, and the use of bank cards, checks,
bank accounts and foreign currency.
Financial planning and
Income, expenses and wealth must be planned and managed in
the short and long term. The content reflects the process and
understanding of managing, planning and monitoring income and
Risk and benefit
They are a key area of financial education and include the ability
to identify methods to balance and hedge risk, and the ability to
manage financial uncertainty with an understanding of the
probability of economic gain or loss in different financial
Financial overview
This content area is relevant to the nature and characteristics of
the financial world.
Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2016).
Likewise, a matrix was used in which the different levels of financial education are
detailed based on the PISA 2015 scale.
Table 2. Standardization of financial education levels
Level of financial
Level 5
81% - 100%
Students can analyze complex financial products and can take into account
features of financial documents that are significant, but not stated or not
immediately apparent. They can work with a high degree of accuracy, solve
unconventional financial problems, demonstrating a broad understanding of
the financial situation.
Level 4
61% - 80%
Students can interpret and evaluate a range of detailed financial documents,
such as bank documents, and explain the functions of less commonly used