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Measuring the Financial Sophistication of Households

  • Laurent E. Calvet
  • John Y. Campbell
  • Paolo Sodini

This paper constructs an index of financial sophistication that, in comprehensive data on Swedish households, best explains a set of three investment mistakes: underdiversification, risky share inertia, and the tendency to sell winning stocks and hold losing stocks (the disposition effect). The index of financial sophistication increases strongly with financial wealth and household size, and to a lesser extent with education and proxies for financial experience. The index is strongly positively correlated with the share of risky assets held by a household.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14699.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2009. "Measuring the Financial Sophistication of Households," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 393-98, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14699
Note: AP
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  1. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M., 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/27, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. Campbell, John & Calvert, Lauren E. & Sodini, Paolo, 2009. "Fight or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors," Scholarly Articles 2617031, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Yannis Bilias & Dimitris Georgarakos & Michael Haliassos, 2010. "Portfolio Inertia and Stock Market Fluctuations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 715-742, 06.
  4. 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.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2005. "Trusting the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 11648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. William N. Goetzmann & Alok Kumar, 2008. "Equity Portfolio Diversification," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(3), pages 433-463.
  7. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2009. "Fight Or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 301-348, February.
  8. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, 08.
  9. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "Towards an Explanation of Household Portfolio Choice Heterogeneity: Nonfinancial Income and Participation Cost Structures," NBER Working Papers 8884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Blume, Marshall E & Friend, Irwin, 1975. "The Asset Structure of Individual Portfolios and Some Implications for Utility Functions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 585-603, May.
  11. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104, February.
  12. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2007. "Beyond Revealed Preference Choice Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," Discussion Papers 07-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  13. Ravi Dhar & Ning Zhu, 2006. "Up Close and Personal: Investor Sophistication and the Disposition Effect," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(5), pages 726-740, May.
  14. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  15. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
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