Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award

5-2017

Thesis Professor(s)

Colin Glennon

Thesis Professor Department

Political Science, International Affairs, and Public Administration

Thesis Reader(s)

John David Briley, William Burton

Abstract

Unfortunately, rural Appalachia is perennially one of the poorest areas of the United States. Many scholars have offered opinions as to why this trend of poverty continues in this region, but one potential cause has not been the subject of much research: do residents in Appalachia have a functional knowledge of the financial system, or even a simple understanding of basic savings, which is necessary for achieving certain levels of financial security?

We conduct a survey modeled after a national study which measures basic financial literacy in local Appalachia, expecting to find that at-risk Appalachians would have less financial literacy than the national average. While our initial response rate was too low to justify a concrete claim, our preliminary findings suggest that local at-risk Appalachians were more likely to incorrectly answer basic financial literacy questions, and we believe that a larger study into this issue is warranted. Should a concrete outcome arise in the affirmative, we offer suggestions for policy responses, including implementation of free personal finance classes to combat the issue.

Publisher

East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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