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Preparation for Retirement, Financial Literacy and Cognitive Resources

Author

Listed:
  • 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://www.mrrc.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, pages 707-747.
    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. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-1129, September.
    5. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aileen Heinberg & Angela Hung & Arie Kapteyn & Annamaria Lusardi & Anya Savikhin Samek & Joanne Yoong, 2014. "Five steps to planning success: experimental evidence from US households," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, pages 697-724.
    2. Tullio Jappelli, 2010. "Economic Literacy: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 429-451, November.
    3. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2014. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 5-44, March.
    4. Annamaria Lusardi & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 431-477.
    5. Di Girolamo, Amalia & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten I. & Swarthout, J. Todd, 2015. "Subjective belief distributions and the characterization of economic literacy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-12.
    6. Giofré, Maela, 2017. "Financial education, investor protection and international portfolio diversification," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 111-139.
    7. Joanne W. Hsu & Robert Willis, 2013. "Dementia Risk and Financial Decision Making by Older Households: The Impact of Information," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 340-377.
    8. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lamla, Bettina, 2014. "The long Shadow of Socialism: On East-West German Differences in Financial Literacy," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100585, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. repec:red:issued:16-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. John J. McArdle & James P. Smith & Robert Willis, 2011. "Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Chapters,in: Explorations in the Economics of Aging, pages 209-233 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Bettina Lamla, 2012. "Family Background, Informal Networks and the Decision to Provide for Old Age: A Siblings Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 466, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate, and Financial Literacy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. repec:mea:meawpa:12261 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Joanne W. Hsu, 2011. "Aging and Strategic Learning: The Impact of Spousal Incentives on Financial Literacy," NFI Working Papers 2011-WP-06, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    15. Dimitrios Christelis & Loreti I. Dobrescu, 2012. "The Impact of Social Activities on Cognitive Ageing: Evidence from Eleven European Countries," CSEF Working Papers 320, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    16. Castro, Rubén & Fortunato, Andrés, 2015. "Is financial literacy an economic good?," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    17. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "Older Adult Debt and Financial Frailty," Working Papers wp291, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    18. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea, 2011. "Financial Literacy, Riester Pensions, and Other Private Old Age Provision in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 11250, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    19. James P. Smith & John J. McArdle & Robert Willis, 2010. "Financial Decision Making and Cognition in a Family Context," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 363-380, November.
    20. Angela Hung & Joanne Yoong & Elizabeth Brown, 2012. "Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 14, OECD Publishing.
    21. 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 (U.S.).

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