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Preparation for Retirement, Financial Literacy and Cognitive Resources

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  • Adeline Delavande

    (RAND, Universidade Nova de Lisboa and CEP)

  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND)

  • Robert Willis

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Traditional economic models assume that individuals have full information and act perfectly rationally. However, we show that there is considerable variation in financial literacy in the population and propose modeling the acquisition of financial knowledge in a human capital production framework. The model makes several predictions, notably with respect to portfolio choice. For example, it helps explain household non-participation in the stock market for some fraction of the population, and it provides guidance about the share of risky assets to hold for other types of households. Estimation of the human capital production function for financial knowledge on data from the Cognitive Economics Survey yields results that are consistent with important features of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder & Robert Willis, 2008. "Preparation for Retirement, Financial Literacy and Cognitive Resources," Working Papers wp190, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp190
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    File URL: http://mrdrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp190.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2007. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 707-747, October.
    2. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    3. Patrick J. Bayer & B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 2009. "The Effects Of Financial Education In The Workplace: Evidence From A Survey Of Employers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 605-624, October.
    4. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    5. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-1129, September.
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