IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nfi/nfiwps/2008-wp-13.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Financial Literacy: An Essential Tool for Informed Consumer Choice?

Author

Listed:
  • Annamaria Lusardi

Abstract

Increasingly, individuals are in charge of their own financial security and are confronted with ever more complex financial instruments. However, there is evidence that many individuals are not well-equipped to make sound saving decisions. This paper demonstrates widespread financial illiteracy among the U.S. population, particularly among specific demographic groups. Those with low education, women, African Americans, and Hispanics display particularly low levels of literacy. Financial literacy impacts financial decision-making. Failure to plan for retirement, lack of participation in the stock market, and poor borrowing behavior can all be linked to ignorance of basic financial concepts. While financial education programs can result in improved saving behavior and financial decision-making, much can be done to improve these programs’ effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Financial Literacy: An Essential Tool for Informed Consumer Choice?," NFI Working Papers 2008-WP-13, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:nfi:nfiwps:2008-wp-13
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.indstate.edu/business/sites/business.indstate.edu/files/Docs/2008-WP-13_Lusardi.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "Reducing the Complexity Costs of 401(k) Participation Through Quick Enrollment," NBER Chapters, in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 57-82, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David I. Laibson, 2007. "The age of reason: financial decisions over the lifecycle," Working Paper Series WP-07-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Colleen E. Medill, 2008. "Participant Perceptions and Decision-Making Concerning Retirement Benefits," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-9, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2008.
    4. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 449-472, August.
    5. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2008. "Who are the microenterprise owners ? Evidence from Sri Lanka on Tokman v. de Soto," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4635, The World Bank.
    6. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 413-417, May.
    7. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
    8. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, August.
    9. Lusardi, Annamaria & Tufano, Peter, 2015. "Debt literacy, financial experiences, and overindebtedness," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(4), pages 332-368, October.
    10. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    11. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Utkus, Stephen P. (ed.), 2004. "Pension Design and Structure: New Lessons from Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199273393.
    12. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education Programs," Working Papers wp144, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    13. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: New Evidence from the Rand American Life Panel," Working Papers wp157, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    14. Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Household Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Literacy, Information, and Financial Education Programs," NBER Working Papers 13824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 449-472, August.
    16. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    17. Annamaria Lusardi & Punam Anand Keller & Adam M. Keller, 2009. "New Ways to Make People Save: A Social Marketing Approach," NBER Working Papers 14715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Sondra G. Beverly & Marianne A. Hilgert & Jeanne M. Hogarth, 2003. "Household financial management: the connection between knowledge and behavior," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 309-322.
    19. Annamaria Lusardi & Jason Beeler, 2006. "Savings Between Cohorts: The Role of Planning," Working Papers wp122, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    20. Jeffrey R. Brown & Zoran Ivković & Paul A. Smith & Scott Weisbenner, 2008. "Neighbors Matter: Causal Community Effects and Stock Market Participation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1509-1531, June.
    21. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2010. "Who are the Microenterprise Owners? Evidence from Sri Lanka on Tokman versus De Soto," NBER Chapters, in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 63-87, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
    23. repec:use:tkiwps:2323 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Household Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Literacy, Information, and Financial Education Programs," NBER Working Papers 13824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell & Vilsa Curto, 2009. "Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy," CeRP Working Papers 91, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    3. 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.
    4. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Financial literacy and retirement planning: New evidence from the Rand American Life Panel," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/33, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    5. van Rooij, Maarten C.J. & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J.M., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the Netherlands," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 593-608, August.
    6. Lusardi, Annamaria, 2007. "Household saving behavior: The role of literacy, information and financial education programs," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/28, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    7. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 449-472, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Elsa Fornero & Annamaria Lusardi & Chiara Monticone, 2009. "Adequacy of Saving for Old Age in Europe," CeRP Working Papers 87, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    10. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, May.
    11. Mustabsar Awais & M. Fahad Laber & Nilofer Rasheed & Aisha Khursheed, 2016. "Impact of Financial Literacy and Investment Experience on Risk Tolerance and Investment Decisions: Empirical Evidence from Pakistan," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 73-79.
    12. Annamaria Lusardi, 2010. "Financial Capability in the United States: Consumer Decision-Making and the Role of Social Security," Working Papers wp226, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    13. Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Increasing the Effectiveness of Financial Education in the Workplace," CeRP Working Papers 79, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    14. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Financial literacy around the world: an overview," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 497-508, October.
    15. repec:use:tkiwps:2323 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bose, Udichibarna & MacDonald, Ronald & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2014. "The role of education in equity portfolios during the recent financial crisis," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-26, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    17. Seshan, Ganesh & Yang, Dean, 2014. "Motivating migrants: A field experiment on financial decision-making in transnational households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 119-127.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Shen, Chung-Hua & Lin, Shih-Jie & Tang, De-Piao & Hsiao, Yu-Jen, 2016. "The relationship between financial disputes and financial literacy," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 46-65.
    21. Bönte, Werner & Filipiak, Ute, 2012. "Financial literacy, information flows, and caste affiliation: Empirical evidence from India," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3399-3414.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Decision-Making; Financial Illiteracy;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nfi:nfiwps:2008-wp-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nfinsus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ray Thomas (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nfinsus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.