Improving financial skills by playing – Etla joins Erasmus+ project

There are still too many young adults around the world who lack an adequate level of proficiency in financial topics, with likely negative consequences for their future. A new research project, funded by The European Union through the Erasmus+ program, aims to improve and enhance younger generations financial skills by using innovative technologies of education. The aim is to create an online game where young adults can practice different decision moments where financial skills are needed.

Etla Economic Research participates in an international research project “ANGLE: A Network Game for Life-cycle Education” funded by the European Union through Erasmus+ program. The aim of the large-scale joint project is to improve young people’s financial skills, which, according to the latest OECD PISA and PIAAC reports, are so inadequate that it already overshadows the future prospects of young adults.

The perspective of the project is the stages of the human life cycle where big financial decisions are made. The life-cycle model includes four crucial decision points on which the project will focus: to continue the education or to work; to save and to invest (to take up a debt); to buy or to rent a house; to continue work or to retire.

The research project will put a strong emphasis in co-creating and co-constructing the project outputs with the students. Economists from different European universities and research institutes will first produce written material on crucial decision points in the life-cycle model. After this an online game where these decision situations can be practiced will be made together with the students. Game situations are videotaped, and more support material is made based on them. The game is mainly played online but there will also be a board game version.

Etla’s part in the collaboration is focusing on one decision point in the life-cycle model, that is, the choice of form of housing and the financing of owner-occupied housing. Research Advisor Tarmo Valkonen, responsible for the research at Etla, says that Etla has a clear goal in the project.

– For Etla, this research project is mainly about socially responsible dissemination of economic information. Beside producing written material about the housing, Etla participates in co-creating the game with Finnish students. The material and game produced in the project will also be translated in Finnish, says Valkonen.

Etla Economic Research will also organize a seminar at the end of the project, where the obtained results will be presented to the relevant parties and stakeholders. Finance Finland FFI will be Etla’s partner and bring its expertise to the project.

Other parties involved in the project are responsible for producing the material for other decision situations in the life-cycle model. In addition to Etla, the project involves CeRP – Collegio Carlo Alberto from Italy, National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud) from Netherlands, Palermo Urban Solutions Hub (PUSH) from Italy, ST Skills Together Srls from Italy, Tilburg University from Netherlands, Warsaw School of Economics from Poland and Université Paris Dauphine from France.

Erasmus+ is the EU’s program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The program covers all education levels: early childhood education, basic education and upper secondary education, vocational education, higher education, and adult education. The aim of the program is to develop education and youth work and to improve young people’s level of education, skills, and employment opportunities.

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