WP 2013-01 Subjective Belief Distributions and the Characterization of Economic Literacy

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Published in 2015 in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Volume 59.

AUTHORS: Amalia Di Girolamo, Glenn W. Harrison, Morten I. Lau, and J. Todd Swarthout

ABSTRACT. We characterize the literacy of an individual in a domain by their elicited subjective belief distribution over the possible responses to a question posed in that domain. We consider literacy across several financial and economic domains. We find considerable demographic heterogeneity in the degree of literacy. We also characterize the degree of consistency within a sample about their knowledge, even when that knowledge is imperfect.