HEC Montréal launches a Financial Education Lab with support from Desjardins

October 17, 2022

The School is pleased to announce the creation of a Financial Education Lab, made possible thanks to a $1.25 million donation from Mouvement Desjardins.

The Laboratory, part of the HEC Montréal Retirement and Savings Institute (RSI) ecosystem, will be directed by Philippe d’Astous, an Associate Professor in the HEC Montréal Department of Finance. At the same time, he will be appointed to the Desjardins Professorship in Personal Finance.

Funding for these new research bodies will extend over a 5-year period.


Analyzing financial behaviour

The new Lab will be devoted to experimentation in financial education. Its mission is to understand individuals’ financial behaviour so it can develop financial education measures likely to improve their well-being.

More specifically, the Lab will pursue 3 objectives:

  1. Document and analyze individuals’ financial literacy;
  2. Understand the impact of their financial literacy level on their financial choices;
  3. Analyze targeted measures to improve individuals’ financial knowledge and thus contribute to their financial well-being.

Its research will focus on 2 main themes:

  • Debt management
  • Financial investments

Philippe d'Astous

Philippe d'Astous

Collaboration and training

Professor d’Astous will be supported by an international team of academics, including several HEC Montréal faculty members, some of whom are associated with the RSI. A number of graduate students will also be involved in the Lab’s activities – indeed, their training is a key part of the Lab’s mission.

The members of this scientific team will make use of approaches based on observing individuals’ behaviour or reactions through data analysis. These data will be drawn from original experimental investigations or in some cases will be administrative data representing individuals’ actual financial decisions.

The findings of these studies will be useful for society, and can be transferred to interested organizations so that they can respond even more closely to people’s personal finance needs.

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