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Characterizing Financial and Statistical Literacy

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  • Amalia Di Girolamo
  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • Morten I. Lau
  • J. Todd Swarthout

Abstract

We characterize the literacy of an individual in a domain by their elicited subjective belief distribution over the possible responses to a question posed in that domain. We consider literacy across several financial, economic and statistical domains. We find considerable demographic heterogeneity in the degree of literacy. We also characterize the degree of consistency within a sample about their knowledge, even when that knowledge is imperfect. We show how uncertainty aversion might be a normatively attractive behavior for individuals who have imperfect literacy. Finally, we discuss extensions of our approach to characterize financial capability, the consequences of non-literacy, social literacy, and the information content of hypothetical survey measures of literacy.

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File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2013-04.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series with number 2013-04.

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Length: 71
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2013-04

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  1. Maria Perozek, 2008. "Using subjective expectations to forecast longevity: do survey respondents know something we don’t know?," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 95-113, February.
  2. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  3. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2008. "Planning and financial literacy: How do women fare?," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/03, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
  5. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Interpreting the Predictions of Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Glenn W. Harrison & Jimmy Martínez-Correa & J. Todd Swarthout, 2012. "Reduction of Compound Lotteries with Objective Probabilities: Theory and Evidence," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-04, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  7. Grether, David M., 1992. "Testing bayes rule and the representativeness heuristic: Some experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 31-57, January.
  8. Wilbert van der Klaauw & Wandi Bruine de Bruin & Giorgio Topa & Basit Zafar & Olivier Armantier, 2012. "Inflation Expectations and Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act on their Beliefs?," 2012 Meeting Papers 121, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Steffen Andersen & John Fountain & Glenn W. Harrison & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2010. "Estimating Subjective Probabilities," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2010-08, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  10. Harrison, Glenn W, 1994. "Expected Utility Theory and the Experimentalists," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 223-53.
  11. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
  12. Hazel Bateman & Christine Eckert & John Geweke & Jordan Louviere & Susan Thorp & Stephen Satchell, 2012. "Financial Competence and Expectations Formation: Evidence from Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(280), pages 39-63, 03.
  13. Todd Elder, 2013. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Mortality Expectations: Evidence From the Health and Retirement Study," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 569-589, April.
  14. Holt, Charles A. & Smith, Angela M., 2009. "An update on Bayesian updating," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 125-134, February.
  15. James E. Matheson & Robert L. Winkler, 1976. "Scoring Rules for Continuous Probability Distributions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(10), pages 1087-1096, June.
  16. Edi Karni, 2009. "A Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 603-606, 03.
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