Critical financial literacy: An agenda

Moritz Hütten, Daniel Maman, Zeev Rosenhek, Matthias Thiemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following the recent financial crisis, consumer behaviour was framed as central in contributing to financial instability. To heighten the financial responsibility of consumers, programs to increase the financial literacy of the general population are being administered by the OECD and other national and international, public and private organisations. Far from presenting a balanced view of economics or encouraging civic engagement in financial regulation, such programs focus on correcting what is viewed as consumer misconduct. In the process, economic topics are naturalised and become reified. We oppose this 'mainstream' financial literacy, by proposing a critical financial literacy (CFL) program that empowers citizens to question the role of finance in society, and that underscores the importance of representing civil society interests in financial regulation. Hence, we call on civil society organisations and other stakeholders in civil society to contribute to the content of these programs and promote a CFL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-291
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge valuable comments and suggestions from the editor and two anonymous referees. We also would like to thank the participants of the 'Impacting financial regulation: civil society in the governance of finance' workshop in Paris and the participants of the conference ‘Sozio*ökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft’ in Tutzing for insightful comments and suggestions. This article benefited from a EURIAS fellowship at the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies (France), co-funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for research, and from funding from the French State managed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, programme ‘Investissements d’avenir’ (ANR-11-LABX-0027–01 Labex RFIEA+).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


  • Civil society
  • Critical education
  • Critical financial literacy
  • Financial education
  • Financial literacy
  • Financial regulation
  • Financialisation
  • Neoliberalism
  • Socio-economic education


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