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Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning, and Household Wealth

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Author Info

  • Maarten van Rooij

    ()
    (De Nederlandsche Bank and Netspar)

  • Annamaria Lusardi

    ()
    (The George Washington University School of Business and Netspar)

  • Rob Alessie

    ()
    (University of Groningen, Netspar and Tinbergen Institute)

Abstract

There is ample empirical evidence documenting widespread financial illiteracy and limited pension knowledge. At the same time, the distribution of wealth is widely dispersed and many workers arrive on the verge of retirement with few or no personal assets. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between financial literacy and household net worth, relying on comprehensive measures of financial knowledge designed for a special module of the DNB (De Nederlandsche Bank) Household Survey. Our findings provide evidence of a strong positive association between financial literacy and net worth, even after controlling for many determinants of wealth. Moreover, we discuss two channels through which financial literacy might facilitate wealth accumulation. First, financial knowledge increases the likelihood of investing in the stock market, allowing individuals to benefit from the equity premium. Second, financial literacy is positively related to retirement planning, and the development of a savings plan has been shown to boost wealth. Overall, financial literacy, both directly and indirectly, is found to have a strong link to household wealth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy) in its series CeRP Working Papers with number 119.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:119

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Keywords: Financial education; Savings and wealth accumulation; Retirement preparation; Knowledge of finance and economics; Overconfidence; Stock market participation.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Winter, Joachim & Lührmann, Melanie & Serra Garcia, Marta, 2013. "The effects of financial literacy training: Evidence from a field experiment in German high schools," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79744, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Teaching teenagers in finance: does it work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 14101, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Fort, Margherita & Manaresi, Francesco & Trucchi, Serena, 2012. "Banks Information Policies, Financial Literacy and Household Wealth," IZA Discussion Papers 6989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2009. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 231, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2011. "Investment in Financial Literacy and Saving Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, 05.
  7. Christopher B. Bumcrot & Judy Lin & Annamaria Lusardi, 2011. "The Geography of Financial Literacy," Working Papers 893, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  8. Deuflhard, Florian & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Inderst, Roman, 2014. "Financial Literacy and Savings Account Returns," MPRA Paper 53857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Giuseppe Marotta, 2011. "Are defined contribution pension schemes socially sustainable? A conceptual map from a macroprudential perspective," Department of Economics 0671, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  10. Caliendo, Frank N. & Findley, T. Scott, 2013. "Time inconsistency and retirement planning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 30-34.
  11. Sundar, B. & Virmani, Vineet, . "Numeracy and Financial Literacy of Forest Dependent Communities Evidence from Andhra Pradesh," IIMA Working Papers WP2013-09-02, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  12. Elsa Fornero & Chiara Monticone & Serena Trucchi, 2011. "The effect of financial literacy on mortgage choices," CeRP Working Papers 121, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).

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