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Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy

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  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Vilsa Curto

Abstract

We examined financial literacy among the young using data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We showed that financial literacy is low among the young; fewer than one-third of young adults possess basic knowledge of interest rates, inflation, and risk diversification. Financial literacy is strongly related to sociodemographic characteristics and family financial sophistication. Specifically, a college-educated male whose parents had stocks and retirement savings is about 50 percentage points more likely to know about risk diversification than a female with less than a high school education whose parents were not wealthy. These findings have implications for consumer policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell & Vilsa Curto, 2009. "Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy," NBER Working Papers 15352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15352
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruhn, Miriam & de Souza Leao, Luciana & Legovini, Arianna & Marchetti, Rogelio & Zia, Bilal, 2013. "The impact of high school financial education : experimental evidence from Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6723, The World Bank.
    2. KADOYA Yoshihiko & Mostafa Saidur Rahim KHAN, 2016. "Can Financial Literacy Reduce Anxiety about Life in Old Age?," Discussion papers 16076, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    4. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
    5. Judith Scott-Clayton, 2012. "Information Constraints and Financial Aid Policy," NBER Working Papers 17811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Binswanger, J. & Carman, K.G., 2010. "The Miracle of Compound Interest : Does our Intuition Fail?," Discussion Paper 2010-137, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2011. "Behavioral economics perspectives on public sector pension plans," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 315-336, April.
    8. M. A. Milioli & L. Poletti & B. Ronchini, 2011. "L’educazione finanziaria degli studenti universitari: misurazione e analisi delle determinanti," Economics Department Working Papers 2011-EF01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    9. Lalime, Thomas & Michaud, Pierre-Carl, 2014. "Littératie financière et préparation à la retraite au Québec et dans le reste du Canada," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 90(1), pages 23-45, Mars.
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    12. Bruce Ian Carlin & David T. Robinson, 2012. "What Does Financial Literacy Training Teach Us?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 235-247, July.
    13. Cambpbell, John Y. & Jackson, Howell Edmunds & Madrian, Brigitte & Tufano, Peter, 2010. "The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies," Scholarly Articles 4450128, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    14. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:07:y:2017:i:03:n:s2010139217500082 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Agarwal, Sumit & Amromin, Gene & Ben-David, Itzhak & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Evanoff, Douglas D., 2015. "Financial literacy and financial planning: Evidence from India," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 4-21.
    16. Yoshihiko Kadoya & Mostafa Saidur Rahim Khan, 2016. "What Determines Financial Literacy in Japan?," ISER Discussion Paper 0982, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    17. Klapper, Leora & Lusardi, Annamaria & Panos, Georgios A., 2013. "Financial literacy and its consequences: Evidence from Russia during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3904-3923.
    18. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "How Ordinary Consumers Make Complex Economic Decisions: Financial Literacy and Retirement Readiness," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-31, September.
    19. Elliott, William & Kim, Johnny S., 2013. "The role of identity-based motivation and solution-focus brief therapy in unifying accounts and financial education in school-related CDA programs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 402-410.
    20. Anderson, Laurel & Ostrom, Amy L. & Corus, Canan & Fisk, Raymond P. & Gallan, Andrew S. & Giraldo, Mario & Mende, Martin & Mulder, Mark & Rayburn, Steven W. & Rosenbaum, Mark S. & Shirahada, Kunio & W, 2013. "Transformative service research: An agenda for the future," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1203-1210.
    21. 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.
    22. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell & Vilsa Curto, 2009. "Financial Literacy and Financial Sophistication Among Older Americans," NBER Working Papers 15469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Washington Macías & Shirley Espinoza & Lisset Gutiérrez & Regina Rodríguez, 2015. "Students’ perceived risk and investment intention: the effect of brand equity," Management & Marketing, De Gruyter Open, vol. 10(3), pages 208-225, October.

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    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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