Explaining the Gender Gap in Financial Literacy: the Role of Non-Cognitive Skills

Explaining the Gender Gap in Financial Literacy: the Role of Non-Cognitive Skills


Economic literature identifies a gender gap in financial literacy. This paper tests to what extent the gender gap is due to a misspecification problem or whether it exists because boys and girls do indeed have differing ways of acquiring financial literacy.

Our estimates show that the gender gap decreases by 20 per cent when the model includes the effect of non-cognitive skills, for 15-year-old students in Spain. However, differences between boys and girls in financial literacy remain statistically significant.

Key aspects

How individuals and families conduct their financial dealings is an essential component of economic well-being

The results show that individuals with higher levels of self-confidence score higher in financial literacy tests

There are other factors such as maturity, gender, socio-economic characteristics and the surroundings, which also influence financial literacy

Full content of the publication


Financial literacy Financial skills Self confidence


Alfonso Arellano

Senior Economist of the Financial System Unit at BBVA Research

Noelia Cámara

Principal Economist, Financial Systems Unit, BBVA Research

David Tuesta

Former Minister of Finance of Peru.

Additional Information

Date published


Document Type

Working Paper


Global, Spain


General public



JEL Code

I00, D83, C81

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