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Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate, and Financial Literacy

We study a model in which financial sophistication improves portfolio returns and therefore the incentive to substitute consumption intertemporally. The model delivers an Euler equation in which consumption growth is positively correlated with financial sophistication. We test the model's prediction using panel data on consumption and financial literacy from the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), and an appropriate instrumental variable procedure. We find that consumption growth is positively correlated with financial literacy. Under plausible assumptions, we provide estimates of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution that are in line with previous literature (between 0.2 and 0.4). We complement our results with direct evidence on the link between financial literacy and the return to saving.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 329.

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Date of creation: 22 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:329
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  1. Shea, J., 1993. "Should We Test the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothsis with Food Consumption Data?," Working papers 9303, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2011. "Investment in Financial Literacy and Saving Decisions," CSEF Working Papers 272, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  3. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  4. Lei Feng & Mark S. Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351.
  5. Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Jere R. Behrman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Cindy Soo & David Bravo, 2010. "Financial Literacy, Schooling, and Wealth Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 16452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charlotte Christiansen & Juanna Schröter Joensen & Jesper Rangvid, 2007. "Are Economists More Likely to Hold Stocks?," CREATES Research Papers 2007-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  8. Annamaria Lusardi & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality," NBER Working Papers 18669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 631-649.
  10. Lei Feng & Mark Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351, 09.
  11. 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.
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