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How Financial Literacy Affects Household Wealth Accumulation

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jere R. Behrman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Cindy K. Soo & David Bravo, 2012. "How Financial Literacy Affects Household Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 300-304, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:300-304
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.300
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Justine Hastings & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2010. "How Financial Literacy and Impatience Shape Retirement Wealth and Investment Behaviors," Working Papers wp233, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    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 413-417, May.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 1131-1174, December.
    5. 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.
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