The research team at the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research is pleased to deliver this important report on Australians’ financial wellbeing. The Melbourne Institute has been actively collaborating with Commonwealth Bank of Australia to develop and analyse scales of financial wellbeing.
The first stage in our collaboration was to develop the scales themselves. We are proud to have developed the CBA-MI Reported and Observed Financial Wellbeing Scales – two innovative first-of-their-kind measures that not only draw on self-reports of people’s financial experiences but also draw on bank-record indicators of their outcomes. We are equally proud of the careful conceptionalisation and rigorous analyses that underpin the scales and establish that they work in the Australian context.
As excited as we were to create the scales, we are even more excited by this second stage in the collaboration in which we use the scales to investigate Australians’ financial wellbeing and to examine the characteristics that are associated with high and low financial wellbeing. The insights from these analyses add to our understanding of financial wellbeing.
For more than 50 years, the Melbourne Institute has conducted path-breaking applied and engaged research on the economic lives of Australians. During that time, it has pioneered the development of many widely-used measures of wellbeing. We are confident that the CBA-MI Reported and Observed Financial Wellbeing Scales will take their place alongside these other measures and be valuable tools for policymakers, financial institutions, service providers, researchers, and the public for many years to come.