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Financial Literacy and the Financial Crisis

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  • Leora F. Klapper
  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Georgios A. Panos

Abstract

The ability of consumers to make informed financial decisions improves their ability to develop sound personal finance. This paper uses a panel dataset from Russia, an economy in which consumer loans grew at an astounding rate - from about US$10 billion in 2003 to over US$170 billion in 2008 - to examine the importance of financial literacy and its effects on behavior. The survey contains questions on financial literacy, consumer borrowing (formal and informal), saving and spending behavior. The paper studies both the financial consequences and the real consequences of financial illiteracy. Even though consumer borrowing increased very rapidly in Russia, the authors find that only 41% of respondents demonstrate understanding of the workings of interest compounding and only 46% can answer a simple question about inflation. Financial literacy is positively related to participation in financial markets and negatively related to the use of informal sources of borrowing. Moreover, individuals with higher financial literacy are significantly more likely to report having greater availability of unspent income and higher spending capacity. The relationship between financial literacy and availability of unspent income is higher during the financial crisis, suggesting that financial literacy may better equip individuals to deal with macroeconomic shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Leora F. Klapper & Annamaria Lusardi & Georgios A. Panos, 2012. "Financial Literacy and the Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 17930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17930
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Semenova & Victoria Rodina, 2013. "Informal loans in Russia: credit rationing or borrower’s choice?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 14/FE/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Paola Bongini & Paolo Trivellato & Mariangela Zenga, 2015. "Business Students and Financial Literacy: When Will the Gender Gap Fade away?," Journal of Financial Management, Markets and Institutions, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 13-30, June.
    4. Irina Kunovskaya & Brenda Cude & Natalia Alexeev, 2014. "Evaluation of a Financial Literacy Test Using Classical Test Theory and Item Response Theory," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 516-531, December.
    5. Müller, Anna K. & Theuvsen, Ludwig, 2015. "Food safety standards in the Guatemalan fresh pea sector: The role of financial literacy in technology adoption," Discussion Papers 205289, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    6. Hallwood, Paul & MacDonald, Ronald, 2014. "Picking the Right Budget Constraint for Scotland," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-27, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    7. repec:hhs:bofitp:2012_010 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Rayenda Khresna Brahmana & Ritzky Karina Brahmana, 2016. "The Financial Planning and Financial Literacy of ex-Malaysia Indonesian Migrant Workers," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(5), pages 47-59.
    9. French, Declan & McKillop, Donal, 2016. "Financial literacy and over-indebtedness in low-income households," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-11.
    10. Dániel Béres & Katalin Huzdik, 2012. "Financial Literacy and Macro-economics," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 57(3), pages 298-312.
    11. World Bank Group, 2014. "Enhancing Financial Capability and Inclusion in Mozambique : A Demand-Side Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19977, The World Bank.
    12. 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.
    13. Bruhn, Miriam & Zia, Bilal, 2011. "Stimulating managerial capital in emerging markets : the impact of business and financial literacy for young entrepreneurs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5642, The World Bank.
    14. Carin van der Cruijsen & David-Jan Jansen & Maarten van Rooij, 2014. "The rose-colored glasses of homeowners," DNB Working Papers 421, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    15. Pyle, William & Schoors, Koen & Semenova, Maria & Yudaeva, Ksenya, 2013. "Bank Depositor behavior in Russia in the Aftermath of Financial Crisis," MPRA Paper 68932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Berkowitz, Daniel & Hoekstra, Mark & Schoors, Koen, 2014. "Bank privatization, finance, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 93-106.
    17. Cordero, José Manuel & Gil, María & Pedraja Chaparro, Francisco, 2016. "Exploring the effect of financial literacy courses on student achievement: a cross-country approach using PISA 2012 data," MPRA Paper 75474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. World Bank Group, 2016. "Enhancing Financial Capability and Inclusion in Azerbaijan," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24955, The World Bank.
    19. Carin van der Cruijsen & Mirjam Plooij, 2015. "Changing payment patterns at point-of-sale: their drivers," DNB Working Papers 471, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    20. M. Debbich, 2015. "Why Financial Advice Cannot Substitute for Financial Literacy?," Working papers 534, Banque de France.
    21. Maria Semenova & Victoria Kulikova, 2016. "Informal Loans in Russia: Why Not to Borrow from a Bank?," Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies (RPBFMP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(03), pages 1-41, September.
    22. Sundar, B. & Virmani, Vineet, 2013. "Numeracy and Financial Literacy of Forest Dependent Communities Evidence from Andhra Pradesh," IIMA Working Papers WP2013-09-02, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.

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    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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