Gender, stock market participation, and financial literacy

Women typically participate less than men in the stock market, while also scoring lower on financial literacy. We explore the link between the gender gap in stock market participation and financial literacy. Using survey data on a random sample of 1,300 individuals that is representative of the Swedish population, we show that controlling for basic financial literacy, essentially a measure of numeracy that does not require knowledge about the stock market, may explain a large part of the gender gap in stock market participation. We also find that women report being less risk taking than men. This gender gap in risk attitudes remains significant also when controlling for financial literacy.

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