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

by Annamaria Lusardi, Olivia Mitchell and Vilsa Curto; CeRP WP N. 91/09 


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.

settembre 2009

WP_91 (PDF File 437 KB)