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Is financial literacy an economic good?

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Is financial literacy an economic good?

Author: Castro, Rubén - Fortunato, Andrés Physical Description: páginas. 143-15 Date: August 2015 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.2643-P


Financial literacy (fl) is generally regarded as an economic good which individuals choose whether or not to consume depending on how much of a contribution they expect it to make to the quality of their financial decision-making. This construct has not, however, been tested empirically. In this study we analyse variations in fl on the part of individuals who experience major life-cycle events that show up in the data and that can be assumed to have repercussions on their personal finances. The analysis of a panel made up of approximately 12,000 people indicates that there is a correlation between 13 of the 17 selected life events and financial decisions, but only one of those events (job training) is associated with a change in fl. This evidence casts doubt upon the conceptualization of fl as an economic good and is in line with a series of other studies that, for one reason or another, have questioned the soundness of the current conceptual
approach to FL.