Three essays on gender finance



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Women live longer than men on average but are less prepared for retirement. In this dissertation, the researcher provides a comprehensive review identifying which women are in the most jeopardy of being unprepared for retirement due to a lack of knowledge, lack of confidence, or low proclivity for loyalty with a financial adviser who can help. In the first essay, the researcher uses a marital bargaining framework to explore motivations for investing in financial human capital. The researcher explores financial human capital investments using variables empirically shown to predict financial knowledge in past research and adds labor specialization variables to explain the financial knowledge gap. The study found Higher-Earner females, particularly GenY and GenX, have a comparative advantage contributing to financial knowledge investments similar to Ever-Married males, while Lower-Earner females with children do not invest in financial human capital. In the second essay, the researcher uses a financial literacy framework based upon human capital theory and behavioral finance theory to explore predictors of financial confidence. Objective financial knowledge was shown to be a significant predictor of financial confidence but women were found less confident than men. Once stress is included in the model there was no difference in confidence between males and females. Negative emotions, such as stress, signal self-assessed inability and deteriorated confidence. In essay three, trust theory was used to form the basis of a conceptual model to reveal gender differences in establishing loyalty. The empirical research shows females more likely to be willing to promote their advisor. The results also show males and females more likely to promote their advisor due to functional competencies but only males more willing to promote their advisor due to technical competencies. Since females scored technical competencies as important this evidence suggests females lack ability or confidence in their ability to access technical competence. In each study, the researcher explores potential gender differences and explanations for the differences which may provide financial advisers with understanding to better serve all clients particularly female clients. The results can also inform educators, public policymakers and consumer advocates to better account for limitations in female retirement preparation



Gender, Financial literacy, Financial knowledge, Confidence, Stress, Loyalty, Retirement preparedness, Consumer Finances Monthly (CFM), Economics of loyalty