Trading Stocks Builds Financial Confidence and Compresses the Gender Gap
63 Pages Posted: 22 May 2018 Last revised: 7 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 6, 2020
How can we promote informed financial participation and reduce the gap in financial confidence between men and women? We conduct a large field experiment that enables and incentivizes working age men and women---a challenging group to reach with standard financial training programs---to trade stocks for four to seven weeks. We provide no additional educational content. We find that trading significantly improves financial confidence, as reflected in stock market participation, objective and subjective measures of financial knowledge, and risk tolerance. Effects are especially strong among women. Participants also become more self-reliant and consult others less when making financial decisions.
Keywords: confidence, gender gap, financial literacy, stock-market participation, field experiment.
JEL Classification: A2, G11, G41, J16, O16
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