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Providing Financial Education: A General Equilibrium Approach

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Abstract

Since the early 2000s, the importance of financial literacy for safe financial behaviors has increased in public debate and has been the motivation for several national and international institutions to launch and promote financial education initiatives. Although discussion on the effects of such education programs remains open, it is generally presumed that higher levels of financial literacy are associated with more stable financial markets. The present paper challenges this assumption and provides a model of heterogeneous agents which differ according to the level of their cognitive abilities. The model allows us to discuss the implications for asset pricing of policies aimed at increasing levels of financial literacy, and shows that general equilibrium effects cause market price volatility and the share of literate individuals to vary in a non-monotonic way with financial education.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Padula & Yuri Pettinicchi, 2013. "Providing Financial Education: A General Equilibrium Approach," CSEF Working Papers 334, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:334
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    1. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2007. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 707-747, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1187-1215, June.
    4. Hellwig, Martin F., 1980. "On the aggregation of information in competitive markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-498, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2010. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 18-38, January.
    7. Joël Peress, 2004. "Wealth, Information Acquisition, and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 879-914.
    8. 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.
    9. Verrecchia, Robert E, 1982. "Information Acquisition in a Noisy Rational Expectations Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1415-1430, November.
    10. Yuri Pettinicchi, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Information Acquisition and Asset Pricing Implications," Working Papers 2012_03, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
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    1. More financial education could lead to more market instability
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-08-29 19:27:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Market stability; Asset pricing; Cognitive ability; Financial literacy; Heterogeneous agents;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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