Investment in Financial Literacy and Saving Decisions

43 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011

See all articles by Tullio Jappelli

Tullio Jappelli

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Center for Studies in Economics and Finance - CSEF

Mario Padula

University "Ca' Foscari" of Venice; CSEF

Date Written: February 2011

Abstract

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 understate the impact of financial literacy on saving.

Keywords: Financial Literacy, Human Capital, Saving

JEL Classification: D8, E2

Suggested Citation

Jappelli, Tullio and Padula, Mario, Investment in Financial Literacy and Saving Decisions (February 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8220. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758429

Tullio Jappelli (Contact Author)

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Cintia - Monte S. Angelo
Napoli, 80126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.csef.it/people/jappelli.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepr.org/researchers/details/rschcontact.asp?IDENT=106354

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Center for Studies in Economics and Finance - CSEF

84084 Fisciano, Salerno
Italy
+39 089 963 165 (Phone)
+39 089 963 169 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.csef.it/people/jappelli.htm

Mario Padula

University "Ca' Foscari" of Venice ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123
Italy
+390412349181 (Phone)
+390412349176 (Fax)

CSEF

Via Don Melillo I
Fisciano, Salerno, 84084
Italy

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