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Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate, and Financial Literacy

  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Padula, Mario

We study a model in which financial sophistication improves portfolio returns and therefore the incentive to substitute consumption intertemporally. The model delivers a Euler equation in which consumption growth is positively correlated with financial sophistication. We test the model's prediction using panel data on consumption and financial literacy from the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) and an appropriate instrumental variables procedure. We find that consumption growth is positively correlated with financial literacy. Under plausible assumptions, we provide estimates of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution that are in line with those in the literature (between 0.2 and 0.4). We complement our results with direct evidence on the link between financial literacy and return on saving.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9406.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9406
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  1. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2011. "Investment in Financial Literacy and Saving Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-46, April.
  3. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  4. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder & Robert Willis, 2008. "Preparation for Retirement, Financial Literacy and Cognitive Resources," Working Papers wp190, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Jere R. Behrman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Cindy Soo & David Bravo, 2010. "Financial Literacy, Schooling, and Wealth Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 16452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Charlotte Christiansen & Juanna Schröter Joensen & Jesper Rangvid, 2008. "Are Economists More Likely to Hold Stocks?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(3), pages 465-496.
  7. Annamaria Lusardi & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality," NBER Working Papers 18669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lei Feng & Mark Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351, 09.
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