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Banks Information Policies, Financial Literacy and Household Wealth

  • M. Fort
  • F. Manaresi
  • S. Trucchi

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. Elsa Fornero & Chiara Monticone, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Pension Plan Participation in Italy," CeRP Working Papers 111, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  2. 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.
  3. Tullio Jappelli & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1998. "Testing For Liquidity Constraints In Euler Equations With Complementary Data Sources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 251-262, May.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," CeRP Working Papers 46, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  5. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2010. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 18-38, January.
  6. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J. Alessie, 2011. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning, and Household Wealth," NBER Working Papers 17339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Tullio Jappelli, 2009. "Economic Literacy: An International Comparison," CSEF Working Papers 238, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  8. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the United States," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 509-525, October.
  9. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Inderst, Roman, 2011. "Financial advice and stock market participation," Working Paper Series 1296, European Central Bank.
  10. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2011. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," CFS Working Paper Series 2011/07, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Tabea Bucher-Koenen & Annamaria Lusardi, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in Germany," CeRP Working Papers 109, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  12. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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).
  14. 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).
  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.
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