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Banks Information Policies, Financial Literacy and Household Wealth

  • Fort, Margherita

    ()

    (University of Bologna)

  • Manaresi, Francesco

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Trucchi, Serena

    ()

    (University of Bologna)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6989.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6989
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  1. 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.
  2. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Inderst, Roman, 2014. "Financial Advice and Stock Market Participation," CEPR Discussion Papers 9922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Dimitris Christelis & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers 2008_19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  6. 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).
  7. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, 05.
  8. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1982. "Consumption During Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
  11. T. Jappelli & J-S Pischke & N.S. Souleles, 1995. "Testing for Liquidity Constraints in Euler Equations with Complementary Data Sources," Working papers 95-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. Jappelli, Tullio, 2010. "Economic literacy: An international comparison," CFS Working Paper Series 2010/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  15. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," DNB Working Papers 078, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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