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Gender Differences in Risk Aversion: Do Single-Sex Environments Affect their Development?

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Author Info

  • Booth, Alison L.

    ()
    (Australian National University)

  • Cardona Sosa, Lina Marcela

    ()
    (Central Bank of Colombia)

  • Nolen, Patrick J.

    ()
    (University of Essex)

Abstract

Single-sex classes within coeducational environments are likely to modify students' risk-taking attitudes in economically important ways. To test this, we designed a controlled experiment using first year college students who made choices over real-stakes lotteries at two distinct dates. Students were randomly assigned to classes of three types: all female, all male, and coeducational. They were not allowed to change group subsequently. We found that women are less likely to make risky choices than men at both dates. However, after eight weeks in a single-sex environment, women were significantly more likely to choose the lottery than their counterparts in coeducational groups. These results are robust to the inclusion of controls for IQ and for personality type, as well as to a number of sensitivity tests. Our findings suggest that observed gender differences in behaviour under uncertainty found in previous studies might partly reflect social learning rather than inherent gender traits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6133.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2014, 99, 126-154
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6133

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Keywords: cognitive ability; single-sex groups; risk preferences; gender;

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References

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Gender, science & stereotypes
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-05-19 12:26:39
  2. boys and girls in the classroom
    by René Böheim in Econ Tidbits on 2013-02-23 08:20:00
  3. The referendum, & risk attitudes
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-09-12 12:27:19
  4. Gender Differences in Risk Aversion: Do Single-Sex Environments Affect their Development?
    by Alessandro Cerboni in Knowledge Team on 2014-05-31 21:15:16
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Salience, risky choices and gender," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 517-520.
  2. Rampino, Tina & Taylor, Mark P., 2013. "Gender differences in educational aspirations and attitudes," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Hiroko Okudaira & Yusuke Kinari & Noriko Mizutani & Fumio Ohtake & Akira Kawaguchi, 2014. "Older Sisters and Younger Brothers: The Impact of Siblings on Preference for Competition," ISER Discussion Paper, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University 0896, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  4. Barbara Liberda & Joanna Tyrowicz & Magdalena Smyk, 2013. "Age-productivity patterns in talent occupations for men and women: a decomposition," Working Papers, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw 2013-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  5. Massimo Anelli & Giovanni Peri, 2013. "Gender of Siblings and Choice of College Major," CESifo Working Paper Series 4529, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Fisher, Paul, 2014. "British tax credit simplification, the intra-household distribution of income and family consumption," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-13, Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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