IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions

  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Padula, Mario

We present an intertemporal consumption model of consumer investment in financial literacy. Consumers benefit from such investment because their stock of financial literacy allows them to increase the returns on their wealth. Since literacy depreciates over time and has a cost in terms of current consumption, the model determines an optimal investment in literacy. The model shows that financial literacy and wealth are determined jointly, and are positively correlated over the life cycle. Empirically, the model leads to an instrumental variables approach, in which the initial stock of financial literacy (as measured by math performance in school) is used as an instrument for the current stock of literacy. Using microeconomic and aggregate data, we find a strong effect of financial literacy on wealth accumulation and national saving, and also show that ordinary least squares estimates underestate the impact of financial literacy on saving.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2011/07.

in new window

Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201107
Contact details of provider: Postal:
House of Finance, Grüneburgplatz 1, HPF H5, D-60323 Frankfurt am Main

Phone: +49 (0)69 798-30050
Fax: +49 (0)69 798-30077
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Campbell, John & Calvet, Lauren E. & Sodini, Paolo, 2009. "Measuring the Financial Sophistication of Households," Scholarly Articles 2618438, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Tullio Jappelli, 2009. "Economic Literacy: An International Comparison," CSEF Working Papers 238, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  3. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2010. "Financial Knowledge and Financial Literacy at the Household Level," Working Papers wp223, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2009. "Financial Literacy and Portfolio Diversification," CSEF Working Papers 212, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  5. 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).
  6. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
  7. 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, 05.
  8. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  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. James Banks & Zoë Oldfield, 2006. "Understanding pensions: cognitive function, numerical ability and retirement saving," IFS Working Papers W06/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. 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.
  12. Dimitrios Christelis & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2006. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," CSEF Working Papers 157, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  13. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," NBER Working Papers 4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Pamela Herd & Karen Holden & Yung Ting Su, 2012. "The Links between Early-Life Cognition and Schooling and Late-Life Financial Knowledge," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 411-435, 09.
  17. 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.
  18. Maarten vanRooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," Working Papers wp162, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  19. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy, social security and portfolio choice," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/12, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  20. 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.
  21. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," NBER Working Papers 13750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. John J. McArdle & James P. Smith & Robert Willis, 2009. "Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 15266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. James Banks & Cormac O'Dea & Zoë Oldfield, 2010. "Cognitive Function, Numeracy and Retirement Saving Trajectories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages F381-F410, November.
  24. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Stephan Meier, 2010. "Financial literacy and subprime mortgage delinquency: evidence from a survey matched to administrative data," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2010-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  25. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Exponential Growth Bias and Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(6), pages 2807-2849, December.
  26. Justine S. Hastings & Lydia Tejeda-Ashton, 2008. "Financial Literacy, Information, and Demand Elasticity: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 14538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Viola Angelini & Agar Brugiavini & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Ageing and unused capacity in Europe: is there an early retirement trap?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 463-508, 07.
  28. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:449-478 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1007-1047.
  30. Shawn Cole & Thomas Sampson & Bilal Zia, 2011. "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1933-1967, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201107. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.