Costly Ignorance: Enhancing Consumer Financial Decision Making

Wiebke Eberhardt

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Avoiding pension information, or having too little knowledge to responsibly handle a credit card are examples of consumers’ “costly ignorance”. This dissertation therefore researches how to enhance consumer financial decision making. A first study investigates what drives differences in participants’ search for pension information, and shows that beliefs, trust and retirement anxiety are significant factors. A second study demonstrates the power of framing pension communication in a large scale field experiment. A third study reveals that older adults can offset cognitive decline and make better financial decisions because of their higher levels of experience and lower levels of negative emotions.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Wetzels, Martin, Supervisor
  • Bauer, Rob, Supervisor
  • Brüggen, Lisa, Co-Supervisor
  • Post, Thomas, Co-Supervisor
Award date20 Apr 2018
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789461828811
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • financial decision making
  • pensions
  • behavioral finance
  • pension communication

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