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Financial Literacy and Self-employment

In this paper, we study the relationship between financial literacy and self-employment. We use established financial knowledge-based questions to measure financial literacy levels. The analysis shows a highly significant correlation between selfemployment and financial literacy scores. To investigate the impact of financial literacy on being self-employed, we apply instrumental variable techniques based on information on economic education before entering the labour market and education of parents. Our results reveal that financial literacy positively affects the probability of being self-employed. As financial literacy is acquirable, findings suggest that entrepreneurial activities may be raised via enhancing financial knowledge.

31. March 2016

Authors Aida Ćumurović Walter Hyll

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Financial Literacy and Self-employment

Aida Ćumurović Walter Hyll

in: The Journal of Consumer Affairs, forthcoming

Abstract

In this paper, we study the relationship between financial literacy and self‐employment. We use established financial literacy questions to measure literacy levels. The analysis shows a highly significant and positive correlation between the index and self‐employment. We address the direction of causality by applying instrumental variable techniques based on information about maternal education. We also exploit information on financial support and family background to account for concerns about the exclusion restriction. The results provide support for a positive effect of financial literacy on the probability of being self‐employed. As financial literacy is acquirable, the findings suggest that entrepreneurial activities might be increased by enhancing financial literacy.

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