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How Financially Literate are Women? An Overview and New Insights

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  • Bucher-Koenen, Tabea

    ()

  • Lusardi, Annamaria
  • Alessie, Rob J. M.
  • Van Rooij, Maarten C. J.

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

We document strikingly similar gender differences in financial literacy across countries. When asked to answer questions that measure knowledge of basic financial concepts, women are less likely than men to answer correctly and more likely to indicate that they do not know the answer. In addition, women give themselves lower scores on financial literacy self-assessments than men. Both young and old women show low levels of financial literacy. Moreover, women for whom financial knowledge is likely to be very important—for example widows or single women—know little about concepts relevant for day-to-day financial decisions. Even women in favorable economic conditions are less financially knowledgeable than men. This is important because financial literacy has been linked to economic behavior, including retirement planning and wealth accumulation. Women live longer than men and are likely to spend time in widowhood. As a result, improving women’s financial literacy is key to helping them prepare for retirement and promoting their financial security.

Suggested Citation

  • Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M. & Van Rooij, Maarten C. J., 2014. "How Financially Literate are Women? An Overview and New Insights," MEA discussion paper series 201419, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:201419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Annamaria Lusardi, 2015. "Risk Literacy," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 1(1), pages 5-23, March.
    3. Zuzana Brokesova & Andrej Cupak & Gueorgui Kolev, 2017. "Financial literacy and voluntary savings for retirement in Slovakia," Working and Discussion Papers WP 10/2017, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
    4. Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2015. "Teaching teenagers in finance: Does it work?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 160-174.
    5. repec:eee:jbfina:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:304-317 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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