nep-fle New Economics Papers
on Financial Literacy and Education
Issue of 2023‒09‒18
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca


  1. Politicians, Trust and Financial Literacy: When Do Politicians Care? By Donato Masciandaro
  2. Behavioral drivers of intentions to use alternatives to cash: An African survey By David Peón
  3. The role of mobile money innovations in the effect of inequality on poverty and severity of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Sara le Roux

  1. By: Donato Masciandaro
    Abstract: Politicians can be more or less active in pursuing financial-literacy policies. This paper explores the role of financial-literacy policy in modifying the financial-trust endowment of a given population taking the political cost-benefit analysis into account. As, in any period, each incumbent government can design and implement its own financial-literacy policy and as financial-literacy deficits are more likely in a period of financial innovation, we assume that constituencies more or less in favour of such policies are present in a given country. If this is the case, we can show that, in a democracy with political competition, the level of activism in implementing financial-literacy policies is positively associated with financial-instability risks, literacy benefits, and illiteracy costs. Moreover, preferences and constraints motivate the politician in charge. More specifically, a more longer time horizons, lower psychological attitudes towards the status quo, and a higher probability of re-election can increase financial-literacy efforts.
    Keywords: financial literacy, financial trust, fintech, financial crisis, loss aversion, political competition
    JEL: D72 G28 G53 H10 K00
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:baf:cbafwp:cbafwp23206&r=fle
  2. By: David Peón (Universidade da Coruna)
    Abstract: Seeking to identify frictions to the possible implementation of CBDCs, I explore potential behavioral drivers for people to use cash or alternative payment methods in retail transactions. I conducted an online survey targeting adults in sub-Saharan Africa, a continent characterized by lower levels of banking penetration, intensive use of cash, and popularity of mobile money accounts to overcome financial exclusion. I obtained robust evidence that the affect heuristic is the only relevant behavioral trait against the use of cash and of credit cards. This adds to criticisms of behavioral finance for frequently neglecting emotional drivers. Cognitive traits, such as mental accounting, fungibility bias, and habit do not mediate in the overall preference but in which contexts people prefer to use one payment method or another. I find no behavioral drivers against the use of electronic payments but robust evidence that higher per capita income reduces their preference. All results are robust to alternative econometric specifications: multinomial logistic, ordered logistic, and logit regressions. My research provides a clear message for policy making: authorities might better favor ensuring that a wide variety of payment alternatives are available for people to use, including cash, and let them choose.
    Date: 2023–08–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:boc:csug23:09&r=fle
  3. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Oxford, UK); Sara le Roux (Oxford, UK)
    Abstract: This study investigates the role of mobile money innovations in the incidence of income inequality on poverty and severity of poverty in 42 sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1980 to 2019. Mobile money innovations are understood as the mobile used to send money and the mobile used to pay bills online while income inequality is measured with the Gini index. Poverty is measured as the poverty headcount ratio while the severity of poverty is generated as the squared of the poverty gap index. The empirical evidence is based on interactive Quantile regressions. The following main findings are established. (i) Income inequality unconditionally reduces poverty and the severity of poverty though the significance is not throughout the conditional distributions of poverty and the severity of poverty. (ii) Mobile money innovations significantly moderate the positive incidence of income inequality on poverty and the severity of poverty in some quantiles. (iii) Positive net effects are apparent exclusively in the poverty regressions. (iv) Given the negative conditional effects, policy thresholds or minimum mobile money innovation levels needed to completely nullify the positive incidence of income inequality on poverty are provided: 27.666 (% age 15+) and 24.000 (% age 15+) of the mobile used to send money in the 50th and 75th quantiles, respectively and 16.272 (% age 15+) and 13.666 (% age 15+) of the mobile used to pay bills online in the 10th and 50th quantiles, respectively. Policy implications are discussed with respect of SDG1 on poverty reduction and SDG10 on inequality mitigation.
    Keywords: Mobile phones; financial inclusion; poverty; inequality; Africa
    JEL: G20 O40 I10 I20 I32
    Date: 2023–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:agd:wpaper:23/046&r=fle

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