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How Financially Literate Are Women? An Overview and New Insights

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  • Tabea Bucher-Koenen
  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Rob Alessie
  • Maarten van Rooij

Abstract

We document strikingly similar gender differences in financial literacy across countries. When asked to answer questions that measure knowledge of basic financial concepts, women are less likely than men to answer correctly and more likely to indicate that they do not know the answer. In addition, women give themselves lower scores on financial literacy self-assessments than men. Both young and old women show low levels of financial literacy. Moreover, women for whom financial knowledge is likely to be very important—for example widows or single women—know little about concepts relevant for day-to-day financial decisions. Even women in favorable economic conditions are less financially knowledgeable than men. This is important because financial literacy has been linked to economic behavior, including retirement planning and wealth accumulation. Women live longer than men and are likely to spend time in widowhood. As a result, improving women’s financial literacy is key to helping them prepare for retirement and promoting their financial security.
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Suggested Citation

  • Tabea Bucher-Koenen & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie & Maarten van Rooij, 2017. "How Financially Literate Are Women? An Overview and New Insights," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 255-283, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jconsa:v:51:y:2017:i:2:p:255-283
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/joca.12121
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    Cited by:

    1. Debets, Steven & Prast, Henriette & Rossi, Mariacristina & van Soest, Arthur, 2018. "Pension Communication in the Netherlands and Other Countries," Discussion Paper 2018-047, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Shizuka Sekita & Vikas Kakkar & Masao Ogaki, 2018. "Wealth, Financial Literacy and Behavioral Biases: Evidence from Japan," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2018-023, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    3. repec:eee:ecolet:v:168:y:2018:i:c:p:102-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Noemi Oggero & Maria Cristina Rossi & Elisa Ughetto, 2019. "Entrepreneurial Spirits in Women and Men. The Role of Financial Literacy and Digital Skills," Working papers 059, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    5. Antonia Grohmann & Annekathrin Schoofs, 2018. "Financial Literacy and Intra-Household Decision Making: Evidence from Rwanda," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1720, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. repec:eee:joepsy:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:66-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:onb:oenbmp:y:2018:i:q1/18:b:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2015. "Teaching teenagers in finance: Does it work?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 160-174.
    9. Maya Haran Rosen & Orly Sade, 2019. "Does Financial Regulation Unintentionally Ignore Less Privileged Populations? The Investigation of a Regulatory Fintech Advancement, Objective and Subjective Financial Literacy," Natural Field Experiments 00662, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. repec:iza:izadps:dp12187 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:empfin:v:48:y:2018:i:c:p:307-320 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Annamaria Lusardi, 2015. "Risk Literacy," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 1(1), pages 5-23, March.
    13. repec:eur:ejesjr:265 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Zuzana Brokesova & Andrej Cupak & Gueorgui Kolev, 2017. "Financial literacy and voluntary savings for retirement in Slovakia," Working and Discussion Papers WP 10/2017, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
    15. David Rothwell & Timothy Ottusch & Jennifer K. Finders, 2018. "Asset Poverty Among Children: A Cross-national Study of Poverty Risk," LWS Working papers 29, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    16. repec:bla:ecnote:v:47:y:2018:i:2-3:p:353-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:iza:izadps:dp12188 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:eee:jbfina:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:304-317 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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