Research - 20.12.2016 - 00:00 

Little Green Bags: Financial Literacy

We all make financial decisions – but what do we actually know about money? “Financial Literacy” is the topic of the 13th film of the “Little Green Bags” animation video series. The text is based on surveys of Martin Brown, Professor of Banking at the University of St.Gallen.
Source: HSG Newsroom

21 December 2016. The video explains the concept of Financial Literacy. The text of the video is based on Martin Brown`s research. Numerous surveys have revealed that adults with a low level of education and low income often lack the knowledge required to make good financial decisions. Also, women generally possess a lower level of financial literacy then men.

Making better financial decisions
So do less money, less schooling and fewer Y-chromosomes simply result in a lower degree of financial literacy? Hardly, the video suggests. One reason for the different levels of financial literacy lies in upbringing: parents can teach their children how to manage money by giving them some pocket money at an early age.They also pass on important values such as “Never spend more than you earn“.

Moreover, the social environment has an impact on our financial literacy: where money and consumption are symbols of prestige and freedom, teenagers are more likely to consume spontaneously – and make rash financial decisions. Research shows that girls are especially prone to such peer pressure. In adulthood, incentives play a decisive role: people who earn more and have significant wealth have stronger incentives to acquire financial knowledge – or to seek expert advice. And people who think more about their financial future are more likely to be aware of the importance of financial knowledge, skills and attitude.

The video in a nutshell: Financial Literacy is the ability to make sound financial decisions. It includes knowledge, skills and a certain attitude towards money. Only one in three persons is financially literate. Academic research is now looking for solutions which enable as many people as possible to make financial decisions which are in their best interest.

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Bite-sized knowledge
The HSG video series Little Green Bags provides an opportunity to find out more about the fields of research at the University of St.Gallen. Themes including the "inter-generational contract", digital living, the renewal energy transition, corporate social responsibility, innovation and the public welfare provide material for discussing issues relevant in and to society, business and politics, and are thus a key part of research and teaching at the HSG. The Little Green Bags video series (the title is derived from "brown bag lunch" academic seminars) is designed to provide knowledge in bite-sized format.

It all started with the film What is CSR? on corporate social responsibility made by the Institute for Business Ethics. Then the Institute for Technology Management brought out video pieces on Effectuation and The Ten Myths of Entrepreneurship. A fourth short movie was devoted to exploring how innovation occurs, while the fifth, entitled Digital Good Life, featured Miriam Meckel explaining how to live in both the digital and analogue worlds while avoiding techno stress. A sixth film was released on how Real Marketing can be utilised to close the sale, then in a seventh release, Elgar Fleisch and Markus Weinberger presented the Internet of Things and its uses

Public value was the topic of the eighth instalment in the HSG series which explored what the "public welfare" actually consists of and relevant measurement approaches, narrated by HSG lecturer Timo Meynhardt. HSG Professor Martin Eling brought out the ninth film on the "inter-generational contract" for ensuring equity of sacrifices and benefits between older and younger workers. HSG leadership expert Heike Bruch’s video is about organisational energy. Thomas Dyllick’s video shows the nature of real entrepreneurial sustainability and how companies are able to solve societal problems by means of careful economic activities. Multirational competence is the topic of the twelfth film of the “Little Green Bags” animation video series. The text was written by Kuno Schedler, Professor of Public Management at the University of St.Gallen.

Animated video series Little Green Bags
The films were produced in cooperation with Zurich animation studio Zense and film director and St.Gallen University graduate Andri Hinnen (SIM-HSG). The scientific director behind the animated film series is Prof Thomas Beschorner, Director of the HSG Institute for Business Ethics. In June 2015 the film “Public Value: Value Creation, Public Welfare and the Individual” received a silver award at the French film festival Deauville Green Awards 2015. In December 2016, the film “What is true business sustainability?” by Thomas Dyllick was awarded with the 3rd price in the category vision of the “Fast Forward Science Award #ffs16”. The Swiss National Science Foundation has likewise recognised the merits of this approach to science communication, providing support for further films in the series via the SNF Agora Instrument.

Picture: Ausschnitt aus dem Animationsfilm / Zense - Reframing Complexity