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Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy

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  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Vilsa Curto

Abstract

We examined financial literacy among the young using data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We showed that financial literacy is low among the young; fewer than one-third of young adults possess basic knowledge of interest rates, inflation, and risk diversification. Financial literacy is strongly related to sociodemographic characteristics and family financial sophistication. Specifically, a college-educated male whose parents had stocks and retirement savings is about 50 percentage points more likely to know about risk diversification than a female with less than a high school education whose parents were not wealthy. These findings have implications for consumer policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15352.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Publication status: published as “Financial Literacy a mong the Young,” joint with Olivia Mitchell and Vilsa Cu rto , in a special issue on financial literacy , Journal of Consumer Affairs , vol. 44(2), pp. 358 - 380 , 2010.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15352

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  1. Annamaria Lusardi & Ricardo Daniel Cossa & Erin L. Krupka, 2001. "Savings of Young Parents," JCPR Working Papers 229, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  2. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2006. "Baby boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and Housing wealth," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/20, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education Programs," Working Papers wp144, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2009. "How Ordinary Consumers Make Complex Economic Decisions: Financial Literacy and Retirement Readiness," CeRP Working Papers 90, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  5. Annamaria Lusardi & Ricardo Cossa & Erin L. Krupka, 2001. "Savings of Young Parents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 762-794.
  6. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M., 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/27, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  7. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," DNB Working Papers 078, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  8. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  9. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
  10. Justine S. Hastings & Lydia Tejeda-Ashton, 2008. "Financial Literacy, Information, and Demand Elasticity: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 14538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Utkus, Stephen P. (ed.), 2004. "Pension Design and Structure: New Lessons from Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199273393.
  12. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," NBER Working Papers 13750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2006. "Reducing the Complexity Costs of 401(k) Participation Through Quick Enrollment(TM)," NBER Working Papers 11979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Annamaria Lusardi & Peter Tufano, 2009. "Debt Literacy, Financial Experiences, and Overindebtedness," NBER Working Papers 14808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jeffrey R. Brown & Zoran Ivkovich & Paul A. Smith & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Neighbors Matter: Causal Community Effects and Stock Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 13168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  18. Esther Dufluo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  19. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2007. "Selection into financial literacy programs: evidence from a field study," Public Policy Discussion Paper 07-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  20. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Social Interaction and Stock-Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 8358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Lusardi, Annamaria & Tufano, Peter, 2009. "Debt literacy, financial experiences, and overindebtedness," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/08, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  22. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Geng Li, 2009. "Information sharing and stock market participation: evidence from extended families," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-47, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Angela Hung & Joanne Yoong & Elizabeth Brown, 2012. "Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 14, OECD Publishing.
  2. Campbell, John Y. & Jackson, Howell E. & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Tufano, Peter, 2010. "The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies," Working Paper Series rwp10-040, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Anderson, Laurel & Ostrom, Amy L. & Corus, Canan & Fisk, Raymond P. & Gallan, Andrew S. & Giraldo, Mario & Mende, Martin & Mulder, Mark & Rayburn, Steven W. & Rosenbaum, Mark S. & Shirahada, Kunio & W, 2013. "Transformative service research: An agenda for the future," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1203-1210.
  4. Bruhn, Miriam & de Souza Leao, Luciana & Legovini, Arianna & Marchetti, Rogelio & Zia, Bilal, 2013. "The impact of high school financial education : experimental evidence from Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6723, The World Bank.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Paolo Sodini, 2012. "Household Finance. An Emerging Field," EIEF Working Papers Series 1204, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Mar 2012.
  6. Thomas Lalime & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2012. "Littératie financière et préparation à la retraite au Québec et dans le reste du Canada," Cahiers de recherche 1237, CIRPEE.
  7. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell & Vilsa Curto, 2009. "Financial Literacy and Financial Sophistication Among Older Americans," NBER Working Papers 15469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joanne W. Hsu, 2011. "Aging and Strategic Learning: The Impact of Spousal Incentives on Financial Literacy," NFI Working Papers 2011-WP-06, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
  9. Judith Scott-Clayton, 2012. "Information Constraints and Financial Aid Policy," NBER Working Papers 17811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Binswanger, J. & Carman, K.G., 2010. "The Miracle of Compound Interest: Does our Intuition Fail?," Discussion Paper 2010-137, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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