Gender Gaps in Financial Literacy: Evidence from Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay

José Espinoza-Delgado, Jacques Silber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding why women are less financially literate than men is crucial for developing effective policies that decrease gender inequalities and improve women’s financial literacy, agency, and empowerment. Accordingly, this article adopts a multidimensional approach to measuring financial literacy in developing countries, aggregating three key components of financial literacy, namely financial behavior, financial attitude, and financial knowledge. Using data from Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay, the study finds that there are statistically significant gender differences in these countries, which is confirmed, except in the case of Chile, by an extensive econometric analysis. In turn, a traditional Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition indicates, when considering the three countries as a whole, that 56 percent of the gap can be attributed to unexplained factors, while 44 percent to differences in observable characteristics, implying that men’s rates of return on human capital components, in a broad sense, are significantly different from those experienced by women. HIGHLIGHTS A comprehensive approach to financial literacy in Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay assesses gender differences in financial behavior, financial attitude, and financial knowledge. Financial literacy is relatively low across all three countries. In Argentina and Paraguay, the gender gap in financial literacy is driven by financial knowledge. Education and income are the largest contributors to the variance in financial literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-171
Number of pages38
JournalFeminist Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 IAFFE.


  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Gender inequality
  • Paraguay
  • South America
  • financial literacy


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender Gaps in Financial Literacy: Evidence from Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this