NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy

Annamaria Lusardi, Olivia S. Mitchell, Vilsa Curto

NBER Working Paper No. 15352
Issued in September 2009
NBER Program(s):   AG

We examined financial literacy among the young using data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We showed that financial literacy is low among the young; fewer than one-third of young adults possess basic knowledge of interest rates, inflation, and risk diversification. Financial literacy is strongly related to sociodemographic characteristics and family financial sophistication. Specifically, a college-educated male whose parents had stocks and retirement savings is about 50 percentage points more likely to know about risk diversification than a female with less than a high school education whose parents were not wealthy. These findings have implications for consumer policy.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15352

Published: “Financial Literacy a mong the Young,” joint with Olivia Mitchell and Vilsa Cu rto , in a special issue on financial literacy , Journal of Consumer Affairs , vol. 44(2), pp. 358 - 380 , 2010.

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