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Voting in the Aftermath of a Pension Reform: The Role of Financial Literacy

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Economic reforms affecting people’s lives are generally quite unpopular and may imply an electoral cost. This can derive, among other things, from lack of understanding of the basic elements of reforms. Our paper shows that the electoral cost of a pension reform is significantly lower in countries where the level of financial literacy is higher. The evidence from data on legislative elections held between 1990 and 2010 in 21 advanced countries is robust when we control for macro-economic conditions, demographic factors, and characteristics of the political system. Interestingly, these findings are not robust when we use less specific indicators of human capital – such as general schooling - supporting the view that knowledge of basic economic and financial concepts has distinctive features that may help reduce the electoral cost of reforms having a relevant impact on the life cycle of individuals.

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers with number 201723.

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Length: pages 33
Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201723
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  1. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
  2. Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro & Robert Wright, 2016. "Financial literacy and attitudes to redistribution," Working Papers 1605, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
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  7. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
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  9. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Dorian Carloni & Giampaolo Lecce, 2012. "The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 531-570 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Clark, Gordon L. & Munnell, Alicia H. & Orszag, J. Michael (ed.), 2006. "The Oxford Handbook of Pensions and Retirement Income," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199272464.
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  18. repec:cup:jpenef:v:16:y:2017:i:03:p:371-394_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Lo Prete, Anna, 2013. "Economic literacy, inequality, and financial development," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 74-76.
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