Who intends to become financially literate?
Insights from the Theory of Planned Behaviour
F.C. Billari, M. Gentile, N. Linciano, F. SaitaQuaderno di finanza (Working Paper) No. 88 - November 2019 [PDF]
Despite the importance that policymakers acknowledge to financial education, little is known about the demand for financial literacy (especially among the least literate individuals). We here build on the social-psychological framework of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to study the intention to learn more about savings and investments as a function of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control, also controlling for individual background factors, including psychological traits. We develop a novel TPB-based module for the CONSOB 2018 Survey on financial investments by Italian households, administered to 1,601 individuals. Analyses of this module, also through structural equation models, show that attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control are significant determinants of intentions to learn more about savings and investments, as predicted by TPB. Differences in attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control contribute to financial literacy gaps for women and less literate individuals in general. In analogy to other fields, interventions in the area of financial literacy should also target the determinants of individuals' intentions, especially for adults that are generally involved in financial education programs on a voluntary basis.
Francesco C. Billari - Bocconi University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monica Gentile - CONSOB, Research Department, Economic Research Unit (email@example.com)
Nadia Linciano - CONSOB, Research Department, Economic Research Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Francesco Saita - Bocconi University (email@example.com)
We thank an anonymous referee for useful comments. Any mistake remains, of course, our sole responsibility. Opinions expressed in this paper are exclusively the authors' and do not necessarily reflect those of Consob.
JEL Classifications: G40, G41, G53.
ISSN 2281-1915 [online]