Financial Literacy and Political Orientation in Great Britain

Montagnoli, Alberto and Moro, Mirko and Panos, Georgios A and Wright, Robert E (2016) Financial Literacy and Political Orientation in Great Britain. Discussion paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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    Abstract

    This study examines the relationship between financial literacy and political orientation in Great Britain. Using novel data from the British Election Survey in 2014, we employ two distinct measures of political orientation, capturing individual self-assessment on a left-right axis and party preferences. We find that financially-literate individuals are some 11-19 percent more likely to orientate at the centre-left or the centre-right. Moreover, they are some 30 percent less likely not to know their political orientation. The results are robust when rich sets of public-attitude and public-value variables are accounted for. Financially-literate individuals are also more likely to have a stable political orientation over time and they are some 15-23 percent less likely to change attitudes radically towards the left or the right across different waves of the study. We interpret our findings as indicative that greater financial literacy is conducive to greater stability of moderate political views and orientation.