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Numeracy and Financial Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wikoff, Nora


Assistant Professor in Quantitative Methods



This paper examines the role of numeracy in smoothing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that numeracy was associated with a 30% reduction in late or non-payment of bills and a 20% reduction in the odds of feeling financially squeezed. The effect of numeracy on financial wellbeing was remarkably consistent across levels of education, ethnicity, and gender, suggesting that improving numeracy levels in the population may be an effective strategy to increase financial capability across the board. However, while numerate individuals were less likely to experience financial difficulty, high numeracy did not predict narrower gaps between Whites and ethnic minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments must take seriously the need to address the constraints and institutional barriers that keep individuals from achieving financial wellbeing.


Wikoff, N. (2022). Numeracy and Financial Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Numeracy, 15(1), Article 4.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 16, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 18, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 31, 2022
Journal Numeracy
Electronic ISSN 1936-4660
Publisher National Numeracy Network
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Article Number 4
Keywords Education; Mathematics (miscellaneous)
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