OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions

ISSN :
2079-7117 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/20797117
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Selected studies on finance, insurance and private pensions policy prepared for dissemination in order to stimulate wider discussion and further analysis and obtain feedback from interested audiences. The studies provide timely analysis and background on industry developments, structural issues, and public policy in the financial sector. Topics include risk management, governance, investments, benefit protection, and financial education. Previous papers addressing these policy issues are available via http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/19936397.
 

Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Angela Hung1, Joanne Yoong1, Elizabeth Brown1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: RAND Corporation, United States

Publication Date
01 Mar 2012
Bibliographic information
No.:
14
Pages
42
DOI
10.1787/5k9d5v6kh56g-en

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The potential implications of gender differences in financial literacy are far-reaching. This paper describes the findings of a review of the literature on gender differences in financial literacy with the aim to better understand their causes and consequences, as well as possible policy responses. It provides a starting point to collect further evidence, develop analytical work and case studies, and to identify areas that deserve further research, thus paving the way for future work to be developed by the OECD and the INFE.

A relatively broad range of empirical literature documents the existence of gender differences in financial literacy in various countries and along several dimensions. On average, women perform worse than men on tests of financial knowledge and have less confidence in their financial skills. However, so far policy awareness of the existence and relevance of these differences is quite low.

The literature (albeit so far limited) on what drives such gender differences points to several potentially complementary explanations including differences in skills, attitudes, and opportunities. In this context, the contribution of improved and targeted financial education programmes aimed at better addressing women’s needs is promising and worth exploring further.

Keywords:
gender, Women, financial education, financial capability, financial literacy, consumer protection
JEL Classification:
  • D14: Microeconomics / Household Behavior and Family Economics / Personal Finance
  • D18: Microeconomics / Household Behavior and Family Economics / Consumer Protection
  • D91: Microeconomics / Intertemporal Choice and Growth / Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
  • J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination