Facing a Biased Adviser While Choosing a Retirement Plan. The Impact of Financial Literacy and Fair Disclosure.
Journal of Consumer Affairs, 2015 Forthcoming
47 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 9, 2015
Buying a retirement saving plan in Israel involves meeting with an agent whose interests may differ from those of his or her customers. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of the advice given by the agent, along with that of two further factors: a fair disclosure statement regarding the agent’s conflict of interest, and the customer's degree of financial literacy. Two experiments conducted among undergraduate students in Israel showed that customers mostly follow the agent's recommendation, even against their best interest, and despite the presence of a fair disclosure statement. Only participants with high financial literacy, who received a disclosure statement, did examine the alternatives closely and rejected the advice when the recommendation was damaging. We also ruled out the existence of a negative psychological reactance response to a disclosure statement that would work to the detriment of financially literate participants.
Keywords: Fair disclosure, pension, financial literacy, reactance, conflict of interest
JEL Classification: D18, D81,D82, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation