Financial Literacy and the Use of Alternative Financial Services: A Behavioural Perspective

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Title: Financial Literacy and the Use of Alternative Financial Services: A Behavioural Perspective
Authors: Scott, Hubert
Date: 2020-09-16
Abstract: The extensive literature on financial literacy has sought to explain financial behaviours and decisions. On the asset side of the balance sheet, financial literacy is associated with good financial practice and wealth accumulation. On the liability side, however, the contribution of financial literacy to individuals’ financial decisions is not entirely clear. To add to this literature, as well as that of behavioural finance and alternative financial services, this research develops a conceptual framework based on Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behaviour (TPB). This framework links individuals’ attitudes to financial matters, subjective norms, perceived feasibility, financial knowledge, and behavioural biases that include overconfidence and present bias on the decision to obtain high-interest loans. The empirical tests of the developed framework suggest that individuals in distinct socio-economic groups have different antecedents that lead to borrowing from alternative financial services. For instance, individuals from low-income households are more likely to obtain these loans if they: do not have access to other forms of credit; struggle to pay their bills; are unemployed; or do not have access to advice from finance professionals. In turn, individuals from high-income households are more likely to obtain these loans if they lack financial knowledge or have behavioural biases like overconfidence or present bias. These results suggest the importance of access to professional advice while ensuring access to traditional means of obtaining credit for low-income individuals in order to reduce the negative effects of these high-interest loans. The results also confirm the importance of current policy initiatives to implement basic finance education in public school curriculums, and the urgency to seek effective approaches to address individuals’ cognitive assumptions.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/41014
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-25238
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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