Logo Logo

Non-Cognitive Abilities and Financial Delinquency: The Role of Self-Efficacy in Avoiding Financial Distress

Abstract

We investigate a novel determinant of household financial delinquency, namely, people's subjective expectations regarding the cost-benefit trade-off in default decisions. These expectations are determined by individuals' self-efficacy, which is a non-cognitive ability that measures how strongly people believe that their effort will influence future outcomes. Using longitudinal household survey data, we show that people with higher self-efficacy, measured earlier in life, are less likely to be financially delinquent later on and to face consequences such as losing assets or access to traditional credit markets, are more likely to prepare for dealing with potential adverse shocks such as a job loss or a health event, and when faced with such shocks, are less likely to become financially delinquent. Complementing prior findings regarding the effects of cognitive abilities, financial literacy and education on economic behavior, our evidence suggests that non-cognitive abilities have an important role in household financial decision making.

Type

Working Paper

Author(s)

Camelia M. Kuhnen, Brian Melzer

Date Published

2016

Citations

Kuhnen, M. Camelia, and Brian Melzer. 2016. Non-Cognitive Abilities and Financial Delinquency: The Role of Self-Efficacy in Avoiding Financial Distress.

KELLOGG INSIGHT

Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more

COURSE CATALOG

Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.
LEARN MORE

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more