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What did you learn about money in school? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is “not much.” For my first two decades of life, I thought people kept money in banks because that’s where the locked vaults are. It wasn’t until later that I learned about things like “liquidity” and “asset allocation,” and discovered that a bank is more than a mattress with security features.

Those lessons were hard-won – embarrassingly so, since I’m, you know, an economics editor. I wish I had been taught basic things about money earlier in life. And in that, I’m not alone – especially among American women. Women score worse on tests of financial literacy than men do, according to research from USC Dornsife social scientist Lila Rabinovich, even though the two groups show no differences in math skills or other abilities. Perhaps less surprising, Rabinovich also found that women – particularly older women – are eager to make up for lost time and educate themselves.

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Tracy Walsh

Economy + Business Editor

Knowledge is power − especially where money is concerned. Rockaa/E+/Getty Images

There’s a financial literacy gender gap − and older women are eager for education that meets their needs

Lila Rabinovich, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Only a small fraction of women have received any financial education at all.

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