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How Financial Literacy Affects Household Wealth Accumulation

  • Jere R. Behrman
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Cindy K. Soo
  • David Bravo

This study isolates the causal effects of financial literacy and schooling on wealth accumulation using a new household dataset and an instrumental variables (IV) approach. Financial literacy and schooling attainment are both strongly positively associated with wealth outcomes in linear regression models, whereas the IV estimates reveal even more potent effects of financial literacy. They also indicate that the schooling effect only becomes positive when interacted with financial literacy. Estimated impacts are substantial enough to imply that investments in financial literacy could have large wealth payoffs.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.300
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 300-304

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:300-304
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  1. 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).
  2. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," NBER Working Papers 13750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. David Bravo & Jere R. Behrman & Olivia s. Mitchell & Petra E. Todd. & Javiera Vásquez, 2008. "Encuesta de protección social 2006: Presentación general y principales resultados," Working Papers wp273, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  5. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
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