NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Rob J. Alessie

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Working Papers

August 2011Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning, and Household Wealth
with Maarten van Rooij, Annamaria Lusardi: w17339
There is ample empirical evidence documenting widespread financial illiteracy and limited pension knowledge. At the same time, the distribution of wealth is widely dispersed and many workers arrive on the verge of retirement with few or no personal assets. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between financial literacy and household net worth, relying on comprehensive measures of financial knowledge designed for a special module of the Dutch Central Bank Household Survey (DHS). Our findings provide evidence of a strong positive association between financial literacy and net worth, even after controlling for many determinants of wealth. Moreover, we discuss two channels through which financial literacy might facilitate wealth accumulation. First, financial knowledge increases the ...
June 2011Financial Literacy, Retirement Preparation and Pension Expectations in the Netherlands
with Maarten van Rooij, Annamaria Lusardi: w17109
We present new evidence on financial literacy and retirement preparation in the Netherlands based on two surveys conducted before and after the onset of the financial crisis. We document that while financial knowledge did not increase from 2005 to 2010, significantly more individuals planned for their retirement in 2010. At the same time, employees’ expectations about the level of their pension income are high compared to what retirement plans may realistically provide. However, financially knowledgeable employees report lower expected replacement rates and acknowledge higher levels of uncertainty. Moreover using instrumental variables estimates for financial knowledge, we find a positive effect of financial literacy on retirement preparation. Employing the panel feature of our dataset, we...
October 2007Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation
with Maarten van Rooij, Annamaria Lusardi: w13565
Individuals are increasingly put in charge of their financial security after retirement. Moreover, the supply of complex financial products has increased considerably over the years. However, we still have little or no information about whether individuals have the financial knowledge and skills to navigate this new financial environment. To better understand financial literacy and its relation to financial decision-making, we have devised two special modules for the DNB Household Survey. We have designed questions to measure numeracy and basic knowledge related to the working of inflation and interest rates, as well as questions to measure more advanced financial knowledge related to financial market instruments (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds). We evaluate the importance of financial li...
January 2005Saving and Cohabitation: The Economic Consequences of Living with One's Parents in Italy and the Netherlands
with Agar Brugiavini, Guglielmo Weber: w11079
The paper deals with the e.ects of cohabitation of grown children with their parents on household saving, using data from Italy and the Netherlands. It presents a two-period gametheoretical model where the child has to decide whether to move out of the parental home. This decision is affected by transaction costs, the child's preference for independence, and by the consumption loss induced by the move (consumption is a public good while the child lives in the parental home). We show that the child's income share affects the household saving decision, in contrast with predictions of the standard unitary model of household decision making. Empirical results from both countries are supportive of the key model predictions. We find strong positive effects of the child income share on the saving...

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