Age, gender, and financial literacy in Japan

Shohei Okamoto, Kohei Komamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The aim of this study is to investigate the association between financial literacy and age as well as gender differences in financial literacy. Methods We analyse a sample of 25,000 individuals from 'The Financial Literacy Survey 2016' conducted by the Central Council for Financial Services Information (Bank of Japan). The analysis focuses on the relationship of age and financial literacy as well as that of age and selfrated financial knowledge. To consider factors accounting for gender differences in financial literacy, we use the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method. To further our understanding of financial literacy, we conduct additional analyses on financial behaviour and attitude. Results Although age is associated with increased financial literacy (Men, β: 0.249, standard error [SE]: 0.030; Women, 0.354, SE: 0.026), the growth rate decreases among the older respondents (Men, β: -0.002, SE: 0.000; Women, -0.003, SE: 0.000). However, the association between age and self-rated financial knowledge among men moves in the opposite direction (Age, β: -0.021, SE: 0.009, Age2, β: 0.000, SE: 0.000). Furthermore, female respondents are likely to be less financially literate than their male counterparts (β: -0.586, SE: 0.095) due to gender differences in the distribution of the factors that affect financial literacy (specifically education), their responses to financial literacy, and the interactions of these effects. In contrast to knowledge-based financial literacy, financial behaviour and attitudes among women are more preferable to those among men, namely, more premeditated. Conclusion Financial literacy increases until about one's early 60s, after which it declines, while confidence in financial literacy reflects the inverse trend, especially among men. Additionally, men are more financially literate than women; however, these differences could be mitigated through education. Meanwhile, financial behaviour and attitudes among men are less premeditated. Thus, policies are needed that can help older adults with their financial decision- making, enhance women's financial literacy, and improve men's financial behaviours and attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0259393
JournalPloS one
Issue number11 November 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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