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Knowing what not to do: Financial literacy and consumer credit choices

  • Dick, Christian D.
  • Jaroszek, Lena M.

Based on a rich panel of household data, we investigate the determinants of the use of consumer credit in Germany. We find that the usage frequency of an easily accessible, but relatively expensive source of consumer credit decreases with financial literacy but is unrelated to household income. This result is robust to household structure, age, formal education, and occupational status. Based on childhood-related information on spending behavior, we control for the influence of self- control on credit decisions. We document that neither self-control, nor low numeracy drive out financial literacy when explaining the frequency of (expensive) credit usage. Hence, financial education plays an important role to improve consumer choices.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-027.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13027
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  1. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lusardi, Annamaria, 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in Germany," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 565-584, October.
  2. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in the United States," NBER Working Papers 17108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 1997. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth Among U.S. Households?," Working Papers 97035, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2011. "Who lost the most? Financial literacy, cognitive abilities, and the financial crisis," Working Paper Series 1299, European Central Bank.
  6. Alessandro Bucciol, 2012. "Measuring Self-Control Problems: A Structural Estimation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1084-1115, October.
  7. James Banks, 2010. "Cognitive Function, Financial Literacy and Financial Outcomes at Older Ages: Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages F357-F362, November.
  8. Jere R. Behrman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Cindy K. Soo & David Bravo, 2012. "How Financial Literacy Affects Household Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 300-304, May.
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