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Financial Literacy and the Financial Crisis

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  • Leora F. Klapper
  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Georgios A. Panos

Abstract

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their ability to develop sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, an economy in which consumer loans grew at an astounding rate - from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 - to examine the importance of financial literacy and its effects on behavior. The survey contains questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), saving and spending behavior. The paper studies both the financial consequences and the real consequences of financial illiteracy. Even though consumer borrowing increased very rapidly in Russia, the authors find that only 41% of respondents demonstrate understanding of the workings of interest compounding and only 46% can answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Moreover, individuals with higher financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having greater availability of unspent income and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and availability of unspent income is higher during the financial crisis, suggesting that financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17930.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Publication status: published as Financial Literacy and its Consequences: Evidence from Russia during the Financial Crisis,” joint with Leora Klapper and Georgios Panos, Journal of Banking and Finance, October 2013, Vol, 37, Issue 10, pp. 3904-3923.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17930

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  1. Stanislav Kolenikov & Gustavo Angeles, 2009. "Socioeconomic Status Measurement With Discrete Proxy Variables: Is Principal Component Analysis A Reliable Answer?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 128-165, 03.
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  5. Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna, 2011. "Gender, Stock Market Participation and Financial Literacy," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 737, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 16 Aug 2011.
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  14. Dimitris Christelis & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers 2008_19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
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  17. Justine S. Hastings & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "How Financial Literacy and Impatience Shape Retirement Wealth and Investment Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 16740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Berkowitz, Daniel & Hoekstra, Mark & Schoors, Koen, 2012. "Does finance cause growth? Evidence from the origins of banking in Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 10/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  2. Maria Semenova & Victoria Rodina, 2013. "Informal loans in Russia: credit rationing or borrower’s choice?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 14/FE/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  3. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," CeRP Working Papers 134, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  4. Bruhn, Miriam & Zia, Bilal, 2011. "Stimulating managerial capital in emerging markets : the impact of business and financial literacy for young entrepreneurs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5642, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. Klapper, Leora & Lusardi, Annamaria & Panos, Georgios A., 2013. "Financial literacy and its consequences: Evidence from Russia during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3904-3923.
  7. Carin van der Cruijsen & David-Jan Jansen & Maarten van Rooij, 2014. "The rose-colored glasses of homeowners," DNB Working Papers, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department 421, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  8. Dániel Béres & Katalin Huzdik, 2012. "Financial Literacy and Macro-economics," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 57(3), pages 298-312.

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