Do more financially literate households invest less in housing? Evidence from Italy

by Riccardo Calcagno and Maria Cesira Urzì Brancati; CeRP WP N. 131/13


Using the Bank of Italy’s Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) covering a 5-year panel, we measure the impact of the degree of households’ financial literacy on their portfolio imbalance towards housing investment. We find that households with higher levels of financial literacy hold a relatively lower share of illiquid wealth, and the results are more pronounced at older ages, when according to the lifecycle hypothesis they are meant to decumulate their assets. Results appear robust to different specifications of the dependent variable and potential endogeneity of financial literacy.

published: March 2013

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