Research Talk by John G. Lynch, Univ. of Colorado Boulder (US)
John G. Lynch from the University of Colorado at Boulder held a talk at our department on the temporal development of financial expertise in couples as part of our Department’s Research Seminar Series. The presented research speaks to the issue that financial literacy is painfully low in many countries, including Austria and the US, and that current efforts to remedy low financial literacy via financial education have delivered miniscule benefits in improved financial behavior. As an explanation, Lynch and his colleague Adrian Ward of UT-Austin argue that people only develop expertise on a “need to know” basis; they pay attention to what they think they need to know, when they think they need to know it. In a series of studies, they show how couples use each other as experts, often entrusting just one partner (the “household CFO”) with the bulk of the responsibility for financial matters, and how this distribution of responsibility affects their independent motivation to learn about financial matters and ability to make good financial decisions.
We thank John for his visit, as well as for the engaging and interesting talk he shared with us. For information on the upcoming guest speakers at the Research Seminar Series, lease check the agenda.