How Ordinary Consumers Make Complex Economic Decisions: Financial Literacy and Retirement Readiness
This paper reports on several self-assessed and objective measures of financial literacy newly added to the American Life Panel (ALP), and it links these performance measures to efforts consumers make to plan for retirement. We evaluate the causal relationship between financial literacy and retirement planning by exploiting information about respondents' financial knowledge acquired in school - before entering the labor market and certainly before starting to plan for retirement. Results show that those with more advanced financial knowledge are those more likely to be retirement-ready.
This research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) as part of the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC). Additional support from the US Department of Labor, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School is gratefully acknowledged. Useful comments and data suggestions were provided by Sandy Chien, Jeff Dominitz, Angela Hung, Arie Kapteyn, Karen Pence, Scott Weisbenner, Joanne Yoong, and participants to seminars at Bocconi University, the 2009 NBER Summer Institute, the NBER meeting on Economics of Household Saving, and the 2009 Retirement Research Consortium meeting in Washington, D.C. Arthur van Soest provided invaluable help in devising the financial literacy questions. Yuni Yan, Hiroaki Matsuura, and Vilsa Curto provided excellent research assistance. Findings and conclusions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views of SSA, any agency of the Federal Government or the RRC. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "How Ordinary Consumers Make Complex Economic Decisions: Financial Literacy and Retirement Readiness," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-31, September. citation courtesy of