Archive for November 11th, 2010

Good in math? RAND Corp. says you and your spouse likely to become wealthier than other Americans

SANTA MONICA, California (Press Release) — Couples who score well on a simple test of numeracy ability accumulate more wealth by middle age than couples who score poorly on such a test, according to a new study of married couples in the United States.

Researchers found that when both spouses answered three numeracy-related questions correctly, family wealth averaged $1.7 million, while among couples where neither spouse answered any questions correctly the average household wealth was $200,000. Numeracy is the ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts, and are skills typically learned during school.

“We examined several cognitive skills and found that a simple test that checks a person’s numeracy skills was a good predictor of who would be a better family financial decision maker,” said James P. Smith, a co-author of the study and Distinguished Chair in Labor Markets and Demographic Studies at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. The other two authors of the study are John McArdle of the University of Southern California and Robert Willis of the University of Michigan.

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