The application of Strumpel's behavioral economic model to explain financial behavior
Toccafondi, Toni L.
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The purpose of this study was to apply Strumpel's behavioral economic model to explain personal financial behavior. Three categories of variables as identified by the model determined the independent variables in the study. These variable groups were defined as the objective environment consisting of financial life cycle stage, income, education, occupation, ethnicity, and gender; person dimensions including self-esteem, money self-esteem, and locus of control; and dimensions of subjective well-being represented by perceived income adequacy and satisfaction with financial situation. Three research questions were explored in the study: ( a) Can personal financial behavior be explained by the objective environment; (b) Can personal financial behavior be explained by person dimensions; and (c) Can personal financial behavior be explained by subjective well-being? The respondents were from a pre-collected data set entitled Financial Attitudes and Practices of Virginia Citizens (N = 521). Factor analysis was utilized to statistically determine appropriate groups of financial behaviors, from 23 behavior items in the study, to selVe as the dependent variables. Conceptually, these behavior factors were determined to represent credit use behaviors, financial planning behaviors, financial management behaviors, and financial control behaviors. Multiple regression was the primary statistical procedure used in the analysis. The combination of independent variables explained 36% (p<.OO1) of the variance in credit use behavior, 41 % (p<.OO1) of the variance in financial planning behavior, 15% (p<.001) of the variance in financial management behavior, and 9% (p<.01) of the variance in financial control behavior. The subjective well-being variables significantly contributed to the explanation of the variance in two behavior dimensions. Measures of self-esteem and locus of control were significant predictors of three of the four behavior dimensions. Objective environment variables also accounted for significant portions of the variance in the dependent variables. Findings suggested that the objective environment, subjective well-being, and person dimensions help explain financial management behavior. The results of this study did provide evidence to support further application of Strumpel's model as a guide to explain financial management behavior.
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