Determinants and Impacts of Financial Literacy in the Lao PDR
Financial literacy is gaining increasing importance as a policy objective in many countries.
However, internationally comparable information on financial literacy is still scarce. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE) survey of adult financial literacy is a standardized survey instrument, but so far has mainly been implemented in higher-income countries outside of Asia. Our paper extends the literature by conducting the survey in a relatively low-income Asian economy—the Lao PDR—and analyzing the determinants of financial literacy and the effects of financial literacy on other behaviors. We also compare these results with those of our earlier study of financial literacy in Cambodia and Viet Nam. This study of the Lao PDR extends our research in the Cambodia-Lao PDR-Myanmar-Viet Nam (CLMV) region, and the survey was broadened to include more variables that could be used as effective instrumental variables for financial literacy to deal with possible endogeneity problems. This increases our confidence in our findings that financial literacy positively affects both savings and financial inclusion.