Max Schmeiser is a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board, where he conducts research on consumer finances, financial literacy, and financial behavior. His work further involves supporting production of the Board’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and providing technical assistance on other Board surveys. Before joining the Board, Max was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Associate Director for Research and Computing at the Center for Financial Security. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University, his M.A. in Economics from McMaster University, and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Regina. His research has been published in numerous academic journals, book chapters, and government publications. Max also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Consumer Affairs.
In the U.S., a number of states have mandated personal finance classes in public school curricula to address perceived deficiencies in financial decision-making competency. Despite the growth of financial and economic education provided in public schools, little is known about the effect of these programs on the credit behaviors of young adults. Using a panel of credit report data, we examine young adults in three states where personal financial education mandates were implemented in 2007: Georgia, Idaho, and Texas. We compare the credit scores and delinquency rates of young adults in each of these states pre- and post-implementation of the education to those of students in a synthetic control state and then bordering states without financial education. We find that young people who are in school after the implementation of a financial education requirement have higher relative credit scores and lower relative delinquency rates than those in control states.