Assessment of financial literacy in Croatia: testing regional differences – pilot survey

Commissioned by: EIZ Club
Project duration: August, 2014 – November, 2014
Project manager: Maja Vehovec, PhD
Collaborators: Edo Rajh, PhD and Ivona Škreblin Kirbiš, PhD

Assessment of financial literacy in Croatia was the first study on the financial literacy of Croatian citizens conducted by the Institute of Economics, Zagreb. The project coordinator was Maja Vehovec, PhD and the associates on its implementation were dr. Edo Rajh from the Institute of Economics, Zagreb and Ivona Škreblin Kirbiš from the Zagreb School of Economics and Management.
The project was financially supported by EIZ Club members: Agrokor and Privredna banka Zagreb. The EIZ Club is a form of cooperation between the business community and the Institute of Economics, Zagreb in the selection, implementation and presentation of the results of economic and related research, important for the economic development of the Republic of Croatia. Through the Club, companies and researchers jointly launch those applied research whose results can stimulate specific actions and measures for the benefit of the wider community

The survey was conducted at the end of 2014 through a questionnaire on a representative sample of 900 citizens aged 18-60. The results showed that of maximum 22 points that could have been achieved through combined measurement of the three components of financial literacy (knowledge, attitudes and behaviours), Croatian citizens achieved on average 14 points. Financial literacy was statistically significantly different in the groups of respondents with higher education compared to those with secondary education, and compared to those without secondary educations. Apart from education, respondents showed a statistically significant difference in financial literacy with regard to the income group to which they belonged. The respondents with higher monthly incomes showed bigger knowledge and generally higher financial literacy in combined variables. The research results showed that men were on average more financially literate than women, as were older people compared to younger ones, and there was no statistically significant difference between the three tested components with respect to the Croatian regions. The key variable that determined the level of financial literacy proved to be education.

In the component of knowledge, the results ranked us among Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Poland and Albania, and were lower than the results of the Czech Republic, Estonia and Germany (the best-performing country). In Croatia, for example, weaker results were related to the accurate calculation of interest rates, which was characteristic for other countries, such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, the UK, Norway and Germany, but compared to them, Croatia had weaker results.