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Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate, and Financial Literacy

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Abstract

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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  • Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2013. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate, and Financial Literacy," CSEF Working Papers 329, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:329
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    1. 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 971-987, December.
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    4. 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, September.
    5. 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.
    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. Annamaria Lusardi & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 431-477.
    8. Justine S. Hastings & Brigitte C. Madrian & William L. Skimmyhorn, 2013. "Financial Literacy, Financial Education, and Economic Outcomes," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 347-373, May.
    9. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
    10. 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.
    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.
    12. Charlotte Christiansen & Juanna Schröter Joensen & Jesper Rangvid, 2008. "Are Economists More Likely to Hold Stocks?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(3), pages 465-496.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margherita Fort & Francesco Manaresi & Serena Trucchi, 2016. "Adult financial literacy and households’ financial assets: the role of bank information policies," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(88), pages 743-782.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption Growth; Euler Equation; Financial Literacy;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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