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Marriage and Other Risky Assets: A Portfolio Approach

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  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Brunetti, Marianna
  • Torricelli, Costanza

Abstract

We study the joint impact of gender and marital status on financial investment by testing the hypothesis that marriage represents - in a portfolio framework - a sort of safe asset, and that this effect is stronger for women. We show that married individuals have a higher propensity to invest in risky assets than single ones, that the marital status gap is stronger for women than for men and that, for women only, the marital status gap evolves over time. Next we explore a number of possible explanations of the observed gender differences by controlling for background and individual factors that capture the evolution of family and society. We find that both the higher female marital status gap, and its time variability, vanish for those women who are employed. Our empirical investigation is based on a dataset drawn from the 1989-2006 Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7162.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7162

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Keywords: divorce; labor force participation; marriage; Portfolio choice;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bertocchi, Graziella & Brunetti, Marianna & Torricelli, Costanza, 2012. "Is It Money or Brains? The Determinants of Intra-Family Decision Power," IZA Discussion Papers 6648, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Giarda, Elena, 2013. "Persistency of financial distress amongst Italian households: Evidence from dynamic models for binary panel data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3425-3434.
  3. Atella, Vincenzo & Brunetti, Marianna & Maestas, Nicole, 2012. "Household portfolio choices, health status and health care systems: A cross-country analysis based on SHARE," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1320-1335.
  4. Ganguli, Ina & Hausmann, Ricardo & Viarengo, Martina, 2010. "“Schooling Can’t Buy Me Loveâ€: Marriage, Work, and the Gender Education Gap in Latin America," Scholarly Articles 4448873, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Siobhan Austen & Rachel Ong & Sherry Bawa & Therese Jefferson, 2013. "Trends in the Gender Wealth Gap Among Single Households in Australia, 2002-2010," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1308, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.

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