The Financial Freedom Initiative is a collaboration between the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Economics Department. Details on the initiative's mission are still pending, Ms. Lusardi said in an email.
In addition, Ms. Lusardi will continue to lead Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, which moves to Stanford. She said in an email that they plan to keep senior people and attempt to keep other non-student workers on a part-time basis.
Her collaboration with Stanford started some time ago, she said. In 2022, she co-organized the inaugural Teaching Personal Finance Conference with Michael J. Boskin, professor of economics at Stanford, and John Shoven, Trione Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and professor of economics at Stanford, said Ms. Lusardi in a phone interview.
The Teaching Personal Finance conference was held at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and is now continuing annually, Ms. Lusardi said.
Her primary goal is to support institutions in teaching personal finance not only to economics and business students, but to make personal finance a general course for all students because of the lack of financial literacy across all groups.
"The world has changed very fast, and we are not catching up with it," said Ms. Lusardi. "I always have this line every time I teach financial literacy: Financial literacy is like reading and writing. You need the basic skills. Where do you learn that basic skill? In school!"
Sadly, she said, most people do not get that opportunity. She cited her own success in teaching personal finance as proof of the value of such a course.
"Only when I started teaching personal finance, I'm getting notes from students way after that took the course where people are telling me, 'I just wanted to tell you I paid off my credit card, and all the things you told me to do, I am doing and I'm so happy!'"
Messrs. Boskin and Shoven at Stanford also introduced a personal finance course at Stanford called Economics 43 several years ago, and it quickly overtook Economics 1 (the basic required class for undergraduates) as the largest economics class at the university.
Ms. Lusardi said the goal of increasing financial literacy is far from trying to make everyone a financial expert, but instead make them better at talking to experts.
"So they can deal with the experts," Ms. Lusardi said. "They can appreciate the importance of talking to experts and being able to make good use of experts. It also will help the financial sector because people with higher financial literacy interestingly use financial advisers more."