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Individual heterogeneity and pension choices: How to communicate an effective message?

Listed author(s):
  • Giovanni Gallo

    ()

  • Costanza Torricelli

    ()

  • Arthur van Soest

    ()

We use the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) to explain how communication influences the heterogeneity in pension choices. To this end we exploit the 2007 Italian reform that allowed transferring future severance pay contributions into a pension fund and was accompanied by an information campaign with a clear message. According to ELM, individuals follow either a “central route” or a “peripheral route” depending on their motivation and ability to think, and eventually change or retain their initial attitude. Based on Logit models and data from the Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth, we find that the decision to transfer the severance pay into a pension fund was taken by more educated and older individuals, with high household income. Since the reform was mainly directed at low income and younger individuals, this result suggest that the information campaign was not very effective. Moreover, our findings show that generic financial literacy does not significantly affect decision consciousness, pointing at a more relevant role in the elaboration process for: the individual’s comprehension of the specific choice object (pension funds), cognitive skills, and influential contextual factors (i.e., unions and employer’s pressure).

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Paper provided by Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi" in its series Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) with number 0136.

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Length: pages 28
Date of creation: Mar 2016
Handle: RePEc:mod:cappmo:0136
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.capp.unimore.it

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  1. M.C.J. van Rooij & C.J.M. Kool & H.M. Prast, 2005. "Risk-return preferences in the pension domain: are people able to choose?," Working Papers 05-04, Utrecht School of Economics.
  2. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," CeRP Working Papers 46, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
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  4. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
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  8. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 13565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Sunden, Annika E & Surette, Brian J, 1998. "Gender Differences in the Allocation of Assets in Retirement Savings Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 207-211, May.
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  13. Lorenzo Corsini & Pier Mario Pacini & Luca Spataro, 2010. "Workers' Choice on Pension Schemes: an Assessment of the Italian TFR Reform Through Theory and Simulations," Discussion Papers 2010/96, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  14. Onorato Castellino & Elsa Fornero, 2006. "Public Policy and the Transition to Private Pension Provision in the United States and Europe," CeRP Working Papers 48, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  15. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  16. Ambrogio Rinaldi, 2011. "Pension awareness and nation-wide auto-enrolment: the Italian experience," CeRP Working Papers 104, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
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