The CFPB has issued a reminder that comments on its Request for Information on Effective Financial Education are due by October 31, 2012.  Published in the Federal Register on August 2, the request seeks responses to a series of questions designed to assist the CFPB’s Office of Financial Education in developing “effective financial education approaches that create opportunities for consumers to improve their financial decision making capabilities.” 

The request  reflects the CFPB’s acceptance of a behavioral economics approach, with the CFPB stating that common financial decisions made by consumers “could be facilitated by a number of approaches that specifically address the behavioral impediments to progress.”  (One of the six professors appointed to the CFPB’s Academic Research Council, Richard Thaler, is often referred to as the “founding father” of behavioral economic theory. ) Among the questions asked by the CFPB are what financial decision-making challenges do consumers most commonly face and whether there is a “common set (or lack) of habits, attitudes, or practices” and if so, what they are.  The CFPB also asks commenters to identify research “in behavioral economics or other academic fields” that “provides insight into financial education approaches that can help consumers achieve their own financial goals.”