nep-mfd New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2022‒11‒28
three papers chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and

  1. Disparities in financial literacy, pension planning, and saving behavior By Bucher-Koenen, Tabea; Hackethal, Andreas; Kasinger, Johannes; Laudenbach, Christine
  2. Mobile Phone Innovation and Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice A. Asongu
  3. Do Australian Households Borrow to Keep up with the Joneses? By Kim Nguyen

  1. By: Bucher-Koenen, Tabea; Hackethal, Andreas; Kasinger, Johannes; Laudenbach, Christine
    Abstract: Financial literacy affects wealth accumulation, and pension planning plays a key role in this relationship. In a large field experiment, we employ a digital pension aggregation tool to confront a treatment group with a simplified overview of their current pension claims across all pillars of the pension system. We combine survey and administrative bank data to measure the effects on actual saving behavior. Access to the tool decreases pension uncertainty for treated individuals. Average savings increase|especially for the financially less literate. We conclude that simplification of pension information can potentially reduce disparities in pension planning and savings behavior.
    Keywords: saving behavior,retirement planning,digital planning tool
    JEL: D14 G11 G51 G53
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study assesses how knowledge diffusion modulates the effect of the mobile phone on entrepreneurship or doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments in which mobile phones are interacted with three knowledge diffusion variables, namely: education, internet penetration and scientific output. Ten variables of entrepreneurship are used. The following three main findings are established. First, the net effects from interacting mobile phones with the internet and scientific publications are negative whereas the corresponding net impact from the interaction between mobile phones and education is positive on the cost of doing business. Second, the mobile phone interacts with education (the internet) to have a positive (negative) net effect on the time needed to construct a warehouse whereas, the corresponding interaction with the internet yields a net negative effect on the time to enforce a contract. Third, there is a positive net effect from the interaction of mobile phones with education on the time to start a business. Given the construction of the education variable, the positive net effects from education are consistent with corresponding negative net effects from the other knowledge diffusion variables.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; the Mobile Phone; Knowledge Diffusion; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: L59 L98 O10 O30 O55
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Kim Nguyen (Reserve Bank of Australia)
    Abstract: I examine whether and how local income inequality affects household debt and its composition using household panel data for Australia from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. I find that middle-income households without liquidity and credit constraints tend to borrow more for non-residential investment purposes as local income inequality rises, suggesting that they are trying to close the income gap. They also appear to try to close the consumption gap by accumulating more car debt with a rise in local income inequality. Both findings are consistent with households 'keeping up with the Joneses', but unlikely to have implications for macrofinancial stability given that households taking on debt appear well resourced.
    Keywords: income; inequality; household debt; financial stability
    JEL: D1 D3 G5
    Date: 2022–11

This nep-mfd issue is ©2022 by Aastha Pudasainee and . It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.