Schooling, numeracy, and wealth accumulation: A study involving an agrarian population

Catalina Estrada-Mejia, Ellen Peters, Nathan F. Dieckmann, Marcel Zeelenberg, Marieke De Vries, David P. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Accumulating wealth is one of the main concerns for consumers. Higher education is widely associated with higher wealth, but the underlying reasons for this association remain unclear. Using data from a field study conducted with 218 adults in agrarian communities in Peru's Andean highlands, we explored the extent to which education, non-numeric fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, and numeracy skills were related to wealth. Wealth was measured using data on asset ownership (e.g., owning a fridge) and housing characteristics (e.g., toilet facilities). Structural equation modeling revealed that the level of schooling was associated with greater numeracy as well as greater non-numeric fluid and crystallized intelligence; only greater numeracy was associated with greater wealth. Our findings are consistent with the idea that education is linked with financial outcomes, at least in part, through the enhancement of cognitive skills, particularly numeracy that then leads to greater wealth accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-674
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Consumer Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Schooling, numeracy, and wealth accumulation: A study involving an agrarian population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this