Επάρκεια χρηματοοικονομικών γνώσεων και χρηματοοικονομική συμπεριφορά: έρευνα σε επίπεδο νοικοκυριών και μικρών - μεσαίων επιχειρήσεων
Financial knowledge and financial behaviour in households and small and medium sized firms
Στεφανίτσης, Μαρίνος Ι.
KeywordsΧρηματοοικονομική γνώση ; Χρηματοοικονομική συμπεριφορά ; Ελλάδα ; Νοικοκυριά ; Small and medium enterprises ; Households ; Financial literacy ; Financial behaviour
Recent crisis in the financial markets worldwide and the complexity of financial products offered, bring into the forefront, the businesses’ potentials for sustaining past performance, and the issue of their owners’ and managers’ financial literacy. Business ability to comprehend and successfully use and exploit financial information seems today more crucial than ever before since access to financial resources is restricted and delivery channels for financial services are under transformation. Similarly, individuals are in charge of their own financial matters and are confronted with similar complex financial decisions. However, there is suspicion that many households are not well equipped to make sound financial decisions. The purpose of this research is twofold. First, an attempt is made to shed some light on the links between businesses’ and households’ financial knowledge and financial behaviour and second, determine the patterns under which small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and households make financial decisions. Special focus is given to the Greek case, by considering, in detail, a range of core variables and relationships which form the financial knowledge and relevant practices of SMEs and households. In this context, the following questions are inevitably raised: do entrepreneurs and households make “poor” financial decisions due to financial ignorance, in other words, because they simply do not know how to take the “right” ones? Further, is it well realized by businesses and households that if financial knowledge is associated with appropriate financial behaviour, there is a chance of reporting less financial difficulties in the forthcoming years? Finally, what is the role of financial knowledge in SMEs’ and households’ financial performance? Despite their importance, there is little research in academia that directly investigates the links between financial knowledge and financial behaviour. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey. Results so far, reveal a positive relationship between specific variables of financial knowledge and specific variables of financial behaviour. Despite Greek SMEs’ and households’ adequate financial knowledge in specific thematic areas, the aggregate results illustrate that the majority of the respondents fail to capture gains in overall performance. These results indicate the complexity of the relationship between knowledge and behaviour. Further research in the field seems however necessary.