How financially literate are women? Perspectives on the gender gap

Mitarbeiter in diesem Projekt:

Levels of financial literacy are low in many developed countries. One group that shows consistently low levels of financial literacy across countries is women. Because of lower incomes during their working lives, interrupted employment histories, and longer life expectancies, women are increasingly at risk of not having enough resources to support themselves in retirement. In this project we document gender differences in financial literacy in several countries, including the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany. When asked to answer questions measuring knowledge of basic financial concepts, women are not only less likely to answer correctly, but they are also more likely to indicate that they "do not know" the answer to the financial literacy questions. This is an important finding as financial literacy has been linked to economic behavior, including retirement planning and wealth accumulation. In addition to providing information about the respondents' demonstrated financial knowledge, we offer data on the respondents' self-assessed knowledge. We have found significant gender differences in self-assessed knowledge as well; women give themselves lower scores than men and the mismatch between actual and self-assessed knowledge also differs between women and men. We investigate reasons for the gender differences in financial literacy. We discuss the role of specialization within the family, the traditional roles of women in society, and the effect of framing and confidence in financial knowledge. As individuals are increasingly being put in charge of their financial well-being before and after retirement, it is critically important to enhance women's financial knowledge to equip them with the tools that are needed to make informed saving decisions. Several studies show that financial education programs can be an effective way to promote financial well-being among women. This project is conducted in cooperation with Prof. Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D. (George Washington University, Washington, USA), Prof. Dr. Rob Alessie (University of Groningen, Netherlands) and Maarten van Rooij, Ph.D. (De Nederlandsche Bank, Netherlands) and funded by Netspar and the European Investment Bank Institute. This papaer has been published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs in 2016.

Aus diesem Projekt hervorgegangene Publikationen:
  • Bucher-Koenen, Tabea; Lusardi, Annamaria; Alessie, Rob; van Rooij, Maarten (2017): How Financially Literate Are Women? An Overview and New Insights, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 51, 2, 255-238

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