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Financial literacy and retirement preparation in the Netherlands*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2011

University of Groningen, Tinbergen Institute and Netspar
Dutch Central Bank and Netspar
The George Washington University School of Business and Netspar


We present new evidence on financial literacy and retirement preparation in the Netherlands based on two surveys conducted before and after the onset of the financial crisis. We document that while financial knowledge did not increase from 2005 to 2010, in 2010 significantly more individuals report having thought about their retirement. Using information on financial conditions and financial knowledge of relatives, we find a positive causal effect of financial literacy on retirement preparation. Employing the panel feature of our dataset, we show that the effect of financial knowledge on retirement planning is bound to be positive.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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Rob J.M. Alessie, School of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 800, 9700 AV, Groningen (, Maarten C.J. van Rooij, Economics and Research Division, De Nederlandsche Bank, P.O. Box 98, 1000 AB, Amsterdam (, and Annamaria Lusardi, The George Washington University School of Business, 2201 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052 ( We thank Franco Peracchi, the participants of the CeRP Workshop on Financial Literacy around the World (Turin, Italy, December 2010), the participants of the Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Actuarial Sciences and Finance conference (Ravello, Italy, April 2010) for useful comments and suggestions, and Audrey Brown for editorial assistance. We are grateful to the staff of CentERdata, in particular Stephanie Mertens, for their assistance in setting up the survey and the field work. Financial support from Netspar is gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Dutch Central Bank.


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