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Gender differences in revealed risk taking: evidence from mutual fund investors

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  • Dwyer, Peggy D.
  • Gilkeson, James H.
  • List, John A.

Abstract

Using data from a national survey of nearly 2000 mutual fund investors, we investigate whether investor gender is related to risk taking as revealed in mutual fund investment decisions. Consonant with the received literature, we find that women exhibit less risk-taking than men in their most recent, largest, and riskiest mutual fund investment decisions. More importantly, we find that the impact of gender on risk taking is significantly weakened when investor knowledge of financial markets and investments is controlled in the regression equation. This result suggests that the greater level of risk aversion among women that is frequently documented in the literature can be substantially, but not completely, explained by knowledge disparities.
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  • Dwyer, Peggy D. & Gilkeson, James H. & List, John A., 2002. "Gender differences in revealed risk taking: evidence from mutual fund investors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-158, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:76:y:2002:i:2:p:151-158
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    1. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    2. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Are Some Mutual Fund Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 875-899, June.
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