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The Financial Literacy Gender Gap and the Role of Culture


  • Ute Rink

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Yabibal Walle

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Stephan Klasen

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)


This paper empirically investigates the role of culture in explaining the frequently reported differences in financial literacy between women and men. Using nationally representative survey data from India, we find that women are significantly less financially literate than men. This gender gap is not observable, however, when we only consider matrilineal states. Moreover, matrilineal women are more financially knowledgeable than patriarchal women. Using the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method, we find that education, English language skills and the use of different information sources, such as newspapers and TV, are key transmission channels in explaining differences in financial knowledge between men and women in patriarchal states, and between patriarchal and matrilineal societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ute Rink & Yabibal Walle & Stephan Klasen, 2015. "The Financial Literacy Gender Gap and the Role of Culture," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 176, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:176

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    Cited by:

    1. Raquel Fonseca & Simon Lord, 2020. "Canadian Gender Gap in Financial Literacy: Confidence Matters," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 235(4), pages 153-182, December.

    More about this item


    Gender; financial literacy; culture; matrilineal and patriarchal societies; Blinder- Oaxaca decomposition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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