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Banks Information Policies, Financial Literacy and Household Wealth

We investigate the causal effect of financial literacy on financial assets, exploiting banks information policies for identification. In Italy, banks who belong to the PattiChiari consortium have implemented policies aimed at increasing transparency and procedural simplification. These policies may affect individuals' financial literacy without involving any direct cost for clients in terms of time, effort or resources, as we show in the paper. We exploit confidential information on whether individuals have their main bank account in one bank in the PattiChiari consortium to instrument their financial literacy level. We show that these policies have a positive and significant effect on both knowledge of financial instruments and household financial assets. Our results suggest that banks information policies have the potential to be an effective tool to increase individuals' financial literacy and that the relationship between financial literacy and wealth is largely underestimated by standard regression models.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp852.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp852
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  1. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2011. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning, and Household Wealth," CeRP Working Papers 119, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  2. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2008. "Financial Literacy and Portfolio Diversification," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/31, European University Institute.
  4. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lusardi, Annamaria, 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 11239, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  5. Jappelli, Tullio & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Souleles, Nicholas, 1995. "Testing for Liquidity Constraints in Euler Equations with Complementary Data Sources," CEPR Discussion Papers 1138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Fornero, Elsa & Monticone, Chiara, 2011. "Financial literacy and pension plan participation in Italy," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 547-564, October.
  7. Elsa Fornero & Chiara Monticone & Serena Trucchi, 2011. "The effect of financial literacy on mortgage choices," CeRP Working Papers 121, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  8. Alejandro Drexler & Gregory Fischer & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "Keeping it simple: financial literacy and rules of thumb," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33502, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  10. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," NBER Working Papers 17078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in the United States," CeRP Working Papers 107, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  13. Jappelli, Tullio, 2010. "Economic literacy: An international comparison," CFS Working Paper Series 2010/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  14. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
  15. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1982. "Consumption During Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Richard Disney & John Gathergood, . "Financial Literacy ad Indebtedness: New Evidence for UK Consumers," Discussion Papers 11/05, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  17. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Inderst, Roman, 2014. "Financial Advice and Stock Market Participation," CEPR Discussion Papers 9922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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