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Adult financial literacy and households’ financial assets: the role of bank information policies


  • Margherita Fort
  • Francesco Manaresi
  • Serena Trucchi


We investigate the role of bank information policies in fostering the accumulation of financial knowledge. Exploiting the exogenous variability induced by the presence of a consortium of banks in Italy (PattiChiari), we find that these policies are effective for a small subsample of the population (5–10%) and lead to an increase in financial literacy by about 10%, on average. Compliance is highest among low-educated respondents older than 60 years. We use these policies as an instrumental variable to estimate the effect of financial literacy on financial assets. We find that one standard deviation increase in financial literacy determines an increase in household financial assets by 35% of a standard deviation (8,000 euros). Effects are heterogeneous in the population and highest among elderly low-educated households.

Suggested Citation

  • Margherita Fort & Francesco Manaresi & Serena Trucchi, 2016. "Adult financial literacy and households’ financial assets: the role of bank information policies," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(88), pages 743-782.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecpoli:v:31:y:2016:i:88:p:743-782.

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    Cited by:

    1. Kaiser, Tim & Menkhoff, Lukas, 2018. "Active Learning Improves Financial Education:," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 131, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Tim Kaiser & Lukas Menkhoff, 2017. "Does Financial Education Impact Financial Literacy and Financial Behavior, and If So, When?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 611-630.
    3. Rosa M. Mayoral & Eleuterio Vallelado, 2017. "Beyond rational behaviour: the non-financial variables that condition shareholder action during a takeover," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 254-270, July.
    4. Angelo Baglioni & Luca Colombo & Giulio Piccirilli, 2018. "On the Anatomy of Financial Literacy in Italy," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 47(2-3), pages 245-304, July.
    5. Marco Nieddu & Lorenzo Pandolfi, 2018. "Cutting Through the Fog: Financial Literacy and the Subjective Value of Financial Assets," CSEF Working Papers 497, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    6. Farías, Pablo, 2019. "Determinants of knowledge of personal loans' total costs: How price consciousness, financial literacy, purchase recency and frequency work together," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 212-219.
    7. Andrej Cupak & Pirmin Fessler & Maria Antoinette Silgoner & Elisabeth Ulbrich, 2018. "Financial literacy in Austria: a survey of recent research results," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q1/18, pages 14-26.
    8. Tim Kaiser & Lukas Menkhoff, 2018. "Active Learning Fosters Financial Behavior: Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1743, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.


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