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The Financial Literacy Gender Gap: A Question of Nature or Nurture?

Author

Listed:
  • Ute Filipiak

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Yabibal M. Walle

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

Abstract

This paper empirically investigates the role of nurture for the frequently reported differences in financial knowledge between women and men and uses a quasi-experimental framework comparing individuals who live in a matrilineal with those in a patriarchal environment in India. The results of our empirical analyses show that women, on average, are less likely to know about different financial instruments and practices than men. In contrast, no differences in financial knowledge between women and men exist in the matrilineal cultural environment. Matrilineal women are also more financially literate than women who live in patriarchal regions. Education, English language skills and the use of different information sources like TV and radio explain a large part of these differences in financial knowledge among women. Although considering a number of important variables, the results of a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition show that a sizable portion of the differences in financial knowledge remains unexplained, what could be explained by nurture.

Suggested Citation

  • Ute Filipiak & Yabibal M. Walle, 2015. "The Financial Literacy Gender Gap: A Question of Nature or Nurture?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 176, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:176
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Joanne W. Hsu, 2011. "Aging and strategic learning: the impact of spousal incentives on financial literacy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:joepsy:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:66-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Grohmann, Antonia & Filipiak, Ute & Heyerhorst, Franziska, 2017. "Intra-household decision making and long-term welfare effects: New empirical evidence," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168140, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Antonia Grohmann & Annekathrin Schoofs, 2018. "Financial Literacy and Intra-Household Decision Making: Evidence from Rwanda," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1720, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Ute Filipiak & Antonia Grohmann & Franziska Heyerhorst, 2017. "Female empowerment, cultural effects and savings: Empirical evidence from India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 234, Courant Research Centre PEG.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender and financial literacy; matrilineal and patriarchal societies; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition;

    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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