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Financial Literacy

Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace

Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell

As financial markets grow ever more complex and integrated, households must make increasingly sophisticated and all-too-often irreversible economic decisions.

This is particularly evident in retirement decision-making. Traditional defined benefit pension schemes are being replaced with defined contribution pensions; employer and government judgment regarding how much to save and where to invest has been replaced by employees having to make these choices on their own (sometimes assisted by advisers); and retirees have become responsible for managing their own pension assets.

This volume explores how financial literacy can enhance peoples’ ability to make informed economic choices. It proposes that financial literacy determines how well people make and execute saving, investing, borrowing, and planning decisions. It examines causality using controlled settings to disentangle whether financial literacy causes saving or vice versa, and demonstrates that financial education programs do indeed enhance financial decision-making and asset accumulation.

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About the Authors

Annamaria Lusardi

Annamaria Lusardi has taught at Dartmouth College, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy and Booth School of Business. She is the Director of the new Financial Literacy Center, a joint consortium with the Rand Corporation, Dartmouth College, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with the support of the Social Security Administration. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. ... More

Olivia S. Mitchell

Olivia S. Mitchell's main areas of interest are private and public insurance, risk management, public finance, labour markets, compensation, and pensions with both a US and an international focus. She is a Research Associate of the NBER and she earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ... More

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