Paola Bongini Paolo Trivellato Mariangela Zenga

Business Students and Financial Literacy: When Will the Gender Gap Fade away?



Gender gap is a general outcome of financial literacy surveys, which also highlight that differences among men and women in the domain of financial capability are irrespective of country differences. However, when considering the young and, particularly, college students, empirical results are rather mixed. Further research is therefore needed on the factors explaining the young's financial literacy; our study contributes to the literature investigating a homogeneous sample of freshmen of the same age and cohort enrolled in a large Italian Business School, where ex ante gender differences should not be expected. We deliberately concentrate on a sample of business students, i.e., a homogeneous sample of the youth population expected to exhibit a similar personal interest in economic and financial matters. No gender gap was found either considering an overall measure of financial literacy (Rasch measure) or considering the overall difficulty of the instrument (Differential Item Functioning). We argue that personal interests in financial matters overcome potential gender issues in financial literacy.


  • Gender Gap
  • Financial Literacy
  • University Students


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