The Gender Gap in Financial Competences
18 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2021 Last revised: 11 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 1, 2021
The Survey of Financial Competences shows that men are better at answering financial literacy questions than women. This article documents the magnitude of the gender gap in this area, reviews the hypotheses that, according to the academic literature, might explain the gender gap and quantifies the contribution of each hypothesis in the case of Spain. The findings suggest that a significant gender gap in financial literacy remains when considering the differences between men and women in terms of their socio-demographic characteristics, numeracy and reading comprehension skills, attitudes as measured by interest in finance, specialisation in household tasks and risk preferences. However, the gender gaps are significantly smaller in regions with more egalitarian financial arrangements for custody and marriage, suggesting that social norms may be important in explaining these disparities. Finally, the article advises treating any measurement of financial competences that merely adds up the correct responses to financial literacy questions with caution. The use of alternative measures of financial competences changes the size of the gap usually observed.
Keywords: Financial competences, financial literacy, gender gap
JEL Classification: D14, G53, I22, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation