The Gender Gap in Financial Competences

18 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2021 Last revised: 11 Mar 2021

See all articles by Laura Hospido

Laura Hospido

Banco de España - Research Department

Sara Izquierdo Martinez

Banco de España

Margarita Machelett

Banco de España

Date Written: March 1, 2021

Abstract

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

Hospido, Laura and Izquierdo Martínez, Sara and Machelett, Margarita, The Gender Gap in Financial Competences (March 1, 2021). Banco de Espana Article 05/21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3800761

Laura Hospido (Contact Author)

Banco de España - Research Department ( email )

Alcala 48
Madrid, 28014
Spain
+34 913385625 (Phone)
+34 913385678 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.laurahospido.com/

Sara Izquierdo Martínez

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014
Spain

Margarita Machelett

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014
Spain

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