Following the aftermath of the economic collapse, we have witnessed a flood of financial education programmes oriented towards students of different age groups. Consumer-side financial education interventions have the potential to increase awareness of financial products, and influence behaviour such as saving and financial planning. More precisely, in developed countries many programmes emphasise preparation for retirement, the importance of saving, and the upbringing of an informed and conscious youth. These beneficial functions of financial education are well known by scholars interested in the field. What, however, seems to have been largely ignored up to this point is the role that financial knowledge plays within the process of intergenerational life-course mobility. My recent research has therefore attempted to fill this gap by establishing a connection between financial education and the socio-economic analysis of intergenerational persistence.
Television and celebrity are ubiquitous in the industrial world and, increasingly, in many parts of the developing world. Making the link between television and childbearing preferences and outcomes may seem a leap of faith, but recent studies are increasingly finding associations, particularly in the developing world. Apart from my own work, numerous studies have reflected on the relationship between television and childbearing, especially in India and Brazilian soap operas. In the past week, however, the issue has been brought to the fore by a blog post on Geocurrents by Martin Lewis at Stanford University, who explicitly examines the role of television in driving down fertility in India. For Lewis,