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Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) Working Paper Series, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden)

No 333:
Financial Literacy Externalities

Michael Haliassos (), Thomas Jansson () and Yigitcan Karabulut ()

Abstract: This paper uses unique administrative data and a quasi-field experiment of exogenous allocation to apartments in Sweden to estimate medium- and longer-run effects on financial behavior from exposure to financially literate neighbors. It contributes evidence of causal impact of financial literacy and points to a social multiplier of effective programs to enhance it. Exposure promotes saving in private retirement accounts and stockholding, especially when neighbors have economics or business education, but only for educated or male-headed households. Findings point to relevant knowledge transfer through social interactions rather than to labor market or other channels linked to local economic conditions.

Keywords: Household finance; financial literacy; social interactions; refugees; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D14; E21; F22; G11; I28; (follow links to similar papers)

49 pages, March 1, 2017, Revised October 1, 2017

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