Actual and perceived financial sophistication and wealth accumulation: the role of education and gender

  • This study examines the role of actual and perceived financial sophistication (i.e., financial literacy and confidence) for individuals' wealth accumulation. Using survey data from the German SAVE initiative, we find strong gender- and education-related differences in the distribution of the two variables and their effects on wealth: As financial literacy rises in formal education, whereas confidence increases in education for men but decreases for women, we observe that women become strongly underconfident with higher education, while men remain overconfident.Regarding wealth accumulation, we show that financial literacy has a positive effect that is stronger for women than for men and that is increasing (decreasing) in education for women (men). Confidence, however, supports only highly-educated men's wealth. When considering different channels for wealth accumulation, we observe that financial literacy is more important for current financial market participation, whereas confidence is more strongly associated with future-oriented financial planning. Overall, we demonstrate that highly-educated men's wealth levels benefit from their overconfidence via all financial decisions considered, but highly-educated women's financial planning suffers from their underconfidence. This may impair their wealth levels in old age.

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Author:Christina E. BannierORCiDGND, Milena Neubert
Parent Title (English):Center for Financial Studies (Frankfurt am Main): CFS working paper series ; No. 528
Series (Serial Number):CFS working paper series (528)
Publisher:Center for Financial Studies
Place of publication:Frankfurt, M.
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of Publication (online):2016/01/29
Date of first Publication:2016/01/29
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/02/02
Tag:behavioral finance; confidence; financial literacy; financial sophistication; formal education; gender; household finance; wealth
Page Number:51
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Center for Financial Studies (CFS)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht