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Financial Literacy ad Indebtedness: New Evidence for UK Consumers

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  • Richard Disney
  • John Gathergood

Abstract

We utilise questions concerning individual ‘debt literacy’ incorporated into market research data on households’ unsecured debt positions to examine the association between consumer credit and individual financial literacy. We examine the relationship between individual responses to debt literacy questions and household net worth, consumer credit use and over-indebtedness. We find that financially illiterate households have lower net worth, use higher cost credit and are more likely to report credit arrears or difficulty paying their debts. However, financially literate households are more likely to co-hold liquid savings and revolving consumer credit, suggesting that the co-holding might arise as a result of rational financial behaviour. We consider the potential endogeneity of financial literacy.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM) in its series Discussion Papers with number 11/05.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notcfc:11/05

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  1. Tullio Jappelli, 2009. "Economic Literacy: An International Comparison," CSEF Working Papers 238, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  2. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 413-17, May.
  3. Bridges, Sarah & Disney, Richard, 2010. "Debt and depression," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 388-403, May.
  4. James Banks & Cormac O'Dea & Zoë Oldfield, 2010. "Cognitive Function, Numeracy and Retirement Saving Trajectories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages F381-F410, November.
  5. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
  6. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The age of reason: financial decisions over the lifecycle," Working Paper Series WP-07-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Exponential Growth Bias and Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(6), pages 2807-2849, December.
  8. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 0. "Fuzzy Math, Disclosure Regulation, and Market Outcomes: Evidence from Truth-in-Lending Reform," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(2), pages 506-534.
  9. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2000. "A Debt Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2009. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life Cycle and Implications for Regulation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 51-117.
  11. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Ales S. BERK & Mitja COK & Marko KOSAK & Joze SAMBT, 2013. "CEE Transition from PAYG to Private Pensions: Income Gaps and Asset Allocation," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 63(4), pages 360-381, August.
  2. John Gathergood, . "Self-Control, Financial Literacy and Consumer Over-Indebtedness," Discussion Papers 12/02, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  3. M. Fort & F. Manaresi & S. Trucchi, 2012. "Banks Information Policies, Financial Literacy and Household Wealth," Working Papers wp852, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi, 2012. "Numeracy, financial literacy, and financial decision-making," NBER Working Papers 17821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Klapper, Leora & Lusardi, Annamaria & Panos, Georgios A., 2012. "Financial literacy and the financial crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5980, The World Bank.
  6. John Gathergood & Joerg Weber, 2012. "Self-Control, Financial Literacy and Co-Holding Puzzle," Discussion Papers 2012-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  7. Elisabete Santos & Margarida Abreu, 2013. "Financial Literacy, Financial Behaviour and Individuals’ Over-indebtedness," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/11, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.

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