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Gender, Financial Risk, and Probability Weights

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  • Helga Fehr-Duda

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  • Manuele Gennaro
  • Renate Schubert
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    Abstract

    Women are commonly stereotyped as more risk averse than men in financial decision making. In this paper we examine whether this stereotype reflects gender differences in actual risk-taking behavior by means of a laboratory experiment with monetary incentives. Gender differences in risk taking may be due to differences in valuations of outcomes or in probability weights. The results of our experiment indicate that value functions do not differ significantly between men and women. Men and women differ in their probability weighting schemes, however. In general, women tend to be less sensitive to probability changes. They also tend to underestimate large probabilities of gains more strongly than do men. This effect is particularly pronounced when the decisions are framed in investment terms. As a result, women appear to be more risk averse than men in specific circumstances. Copyright Springer 2006

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

    Volume (Year): 60 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (05)
    Pages: 283-313

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:60:y:2006:i:2:p:283-313

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100341

    Related research

    Keywords: gender differences; risk aversion; financial decision making; prospect theory; probability weighting function;

    References

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    1. Matthias Gysler & Jamie Kruse & Renate Schubert, 2002. "Ambiguity and Gender Differences in Financial Decision Making: An Experimental Examination of Competence and Confidence Effects," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 02/23, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2014. "Double or nothing?! Small groups making decisions under risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 243-274, August.
    3. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin, 2010. "Viewing the future through a warped lens: why uncertainty generates hyperbolic discounting," IEW - Working Papers 510, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Teisl, Mario F. & Roe, Brian E., 2010. "Consumer willingness-to-pay to reduce the probability of retail foodborne pathogen contamination," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 521-530, December.
    5. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2012. "Salience, Risky Choices and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 6400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Julie Nelson, 2012. "Are Women Really More Risk-Averse than Men?," INET Research Notes 12, Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).
    7. Philip J. Grossman & Mana Komai & James E. Jensen, 2012. "Leadership and Gender in Groups: An Experiment," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 42-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    8. Fehr-Duda, Helga & Epper, Thomas & Bruhin, Adrian & Schubert, Renate, 2011. "Risk and rationality: The effects of mood and decision rules on probability weighting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 14-24, April.
    9. Booij, Adam S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A parameter-free analysis of the utility of money for the general population under prospect theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 651-666, August.
    10. Narat Charupat & Richard Deaves & Travis Derouin & Marcelo Klotzle & Peter Miu, 2013. "Emotional balance and probability weighting," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 17-41, July.
    11. Ryan O. Murphy & Robert H.W. ten Brincke, . "Hierarchical maximum likelihood parameter estimation for cumulative prospect theory: Improving the reliability of individual risk parameter estimates," Working Papers ETH-RC-14-005, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    12. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier, 2013. "Prospect theory in the health domain: A quantitative assessment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1057-1065.
    13. Gerlinde Fellner & Boris Maciejovsky, . "Risk Attitude and Market Behavior: Evidence from Experimental Asset Markets," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-34, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    14. Cooper, W.W. & Kingyens, Angela T. & Paradi, Joseph C., 2014. "Two-stage financial risk tolerance assessment using data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 233(1), pages 273-280.
    15. Walther, Herbert, 2010. "Anomalies in intertemporal choice, time-dependent uncertainty and expected utility - A common approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 114-130, February.

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