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Marriage and other risky assets: A portfolio approach

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

We study the joint impact of gender and marital status on financial investments by testing the hypothesis that marriage represents - in a portfolio framework - a sort of safe asset and that this attribute may change over time. We show that married individuals have a higher propensity to invest in risky assets than single ones, that this marital status gap is stronger for women and that, for women only, it evolves and declines at the end of the sample period. Next we explore a number of possible explanations of the observed gender differences by controlling for background 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 1993-2006 Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 2902-2915

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:35:y:2011:i:11:p:2902-2915
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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