Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Saving in Childhood and Adolescence: Insights From Developmental Psychology

This paper addresses variables related to child and adolescent saving and explains the development of skills and behaviors that facilitate saving from an economic socialization perspective. References are made to the differences between the economic world of children, adolescents, and adults as well as to existing theories of saving. Children’s and adolescents’ ability and willingness to save are looked at, taking into account the social context of the family and general child and adolescent development. The paper concludes with directions for future research in this area.

The paper was presented during the Assets and Education Symposium, a March 2012 conference cosponsored by the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and CSD. The symposium was convened to explore the role of savings and asset holding in post-secondary educational achievement. Many of the original conference papers are accessible in the center’s online collection and were subsequently developed for publication in Assets and Educational Attainment: Theory and Evidence, a special issue of Economics of Education Review.

Subsequent publication: Otto, A. (2013). Saving in childhood and adolescence: Insights from developmental psychology. Economics of Education Review, 33, 8–18. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.09.005

Project: College Success


Otto, A. (2012). Saving in childhood and adolescence: Insights from developmental psychology (CSD Working Paper No. 12-20). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.