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Statistic calculating

Informing Our Work

The academic investigation of financial wellness has been largely restricted to a relatively niche area of the social sciences that has not made full use of recent advances in mathematical modelling or machine learning. Much of the research has been disparate, with scholars pursuing specific questions and theories in isolation of a larger context. Regardless, there is a significant body of literature that can be drawn upon for the lab’s purposes.

In general, the topics of spending, literacy, behaviour and demographics are thoroughly researched. Savings research tends to focus on investments, pensions and portfolios. Debt and income research is surprisingly sparse. Some academic work exists on modelling – prescriptive solutions to optimize outcomes for stylized households, for example.

The existing empirical models for household wealth accumulation provide prescriptions for savings rates and investment allocations as a function of individual risk aversion and financial goals. The models are stochastic to incorporate both uncertain market returns (quantitative finance) and income/consumption shocks (actuarial analysis). Key drivers include the links between income-consumption, savings rate, risk attitudes, and the response to unforeseen shocks.

Our listing below is a snapshot of some key sources in the literature. For a more in-depth exploration, consult our sources. 

Canadian Work

  • Barnhart, Brennan, Kimberley Beck, Wesley Benjamin, Chris Birrell, Samir Djidel, Andrew Heisz, and Eric Olson. Statistics Canada. Experimental estimates of family weekly income, update. Available at: 2021.

  • Barnhart, Brennan, Kimberley Beck, Wesley Benjamin, Chris Birrell, Samir Djidel, Andrew Heisz, and Eric Olson. Statistics Canada. Experimental estimates of family weekly income, January 2020 to March 2021. Available at: 2021.

  • Behavioural Insights: Key Concepts, Applications and Regulatory Considerations, Ontario Securities Commission.

  • Canadian Payroll Association. Nothing Is Normal – Canadian Workers Are Overwhelmed by Uncertainty. 2020.

  • CIRANO, Econometric Models on the Value of Advice of a Financial Advisor, 2012.

  • Foerster, Linnainmaa, Melzer, Previtero, Retail Financial Advice: Does One Size Fit All? Journal of Finance August. 2017.

  • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Why your employee’s financial well-being matters, 2020.

  • Lifeworks, The Financial Well-being IndexTMReport, 2021, 2022.

  • National Payroll Institute, NPW survey 2022.

  • Seymour Financial Resilience IndexTM and Applications Release, issued by Seymour Consulting.

International Contributions

  • DeVaney. Financial Issues of Older Adults. In Handbook of Consumer Finance Research. 2016.

  • Dodini, S., Larrimore, J., & Thomas, L. (2016). Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2015. Reports and Studies, 164-164. 2015.

  • Fernandes, D., Lynch Jr, J. G., & Netemeyer, R. G. Financial literacy, financial education, and downstream financial behaviours. Management Science, 60(8), 1861-1883. 2014.

  • Hassan, N. M., Kassim, E. S., & Ma’on, S. N. Factors Influencing Individual Financial Resilience in facing Economic Crisis: Does Financial Literacy really help?. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(11). 2018.

  • Klapper, L., & Lusardi, A. (2020). Financial literacy and financial resilience: Evidence from around the world. Financial Management, 49(3), 589-614. 2020.

  • Loibl and Hira. Financial Issues of Women. In Handbook of Consumer Finance Research. 2016.

  • Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha, Vanguard. 2019.

  • Value: A sharper focus on the value of Advisors, Russell Investments. 2021.

  • Vlaev, Ivo and Antony Elliot. Financial well-being components. Social Indicators Research, 118(3):1103-1123. 2014.

  • Von Gaudecker, H. M. How does household portfolio diversification vary with financial literacy and financial advice? The Journal of Finance, 489-507. 2015.

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