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Financial literacy and the design of retirement plans

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  • Dvorak, Tomas
  • Hanley, Henry

Abstract

We design and administer a financial literacy test tailored to a specific defined contribution plan. We find that participants show fairly good knowledge of the basic mechanics of the plan, but are unable to differentiate among various investment options. Knowledge is particularly low among women, low income and low education employees. We also find some evidence that personal contributions lead to more knowledge. These results support plan designs that have few investment options and encourage personal contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dvorak, Tomas & Hanley, Henry, 2010. "Financial literacy and the design of retirement plans," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 645-652, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:6:p:645-652
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-465, June.
    2. Shlomo Benartzi, 2001. "Excessive Extrapolation and the Allocation of 401(k) Accounts to Company Stock," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1747-1764, October.
    3. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. 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.
    5. Olivia S. Mitchell & Gary R. Mottola & Stephen P. Utkus & Takeshi Yamaguchi, 2006. "The Inattentive Participant: Portfolio Trading Behavior in 401(k) Plans," Working Papers wp115, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    6. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "Are Empowerment and Education Enough? Underdiversification in 401(k) Plans," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 151-214.
    7. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
    8. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: New Evidence from the Rand American Life Panel," Working Papers wp157, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    9. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alassane Diaw, 2017. "Retirement Preparedness in Saudi Arabia," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 78-86.
    2. repec:red:issued:16-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:pacfin:v:43:y:2017:i:c:p:218-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Shen, Chung-Hua & Lin, Shih-Jie & Tang, De-Piao & Hsiao, Yu-Jen, 2016. "The relationship between financial disputes and financial literacy," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 46-65.

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