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Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking

  • Charness, Gary
  • Gneezy, Uri

Are men more willing to take financial risks than women? The answer to this question has immediate relevance for many economic issues. We assemble the data from 15 sets of experiments with one simple underlying investment game. Most of these experiments were not designed to investigate gender differences and were conducted by different researchers in different countries, with different instructions, durations, payments, subject pools, etc. The fact that all data come from the same basic investment game allows us to test the robustness of the findings. We find a very consistent result that women invest less, and thus appear to be more financially risk averse than men.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 83 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 50-58

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:50-58
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  1. John List & Kenneth Leonard & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society," Artefactual Field Experiments 00049, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  3. Bellemare, C. & Krause, M. & Kroger, S. & Zhang, C., 2004. "Myopic Loss Aversion : Information Feedback vs. Investment Flexibility," Discussion Paper 2004-32, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1999. "On the Evolution of Attitudes towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 125-143, July.
  5. Ertac, Seda & Gurdal, Mehmet Y., 2012. "Deciding to decide: Gender, leadership and risk-taking in groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 24-30.
  6. Michael S. Haigh & John A. List, 2005. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 523-534, 02.
  7. Gary Charness & Uri Gneezy, 2010. "Portfolio Choice And Risk Attitudes: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 133-146, 01.
  8. Powell, Melanie & Ansic, David, 1997. "Gender differences in risk behaviour in financial decision-making: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 605-628, November.
  9. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  10. Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1997. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Other publications TiSEM da6ba1bf-e15c-41b2-ae95-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  11. Dreber, Anna & Rand, David G. & Garcia, Justin R. & Wernerfelt, Nils & Lum, J. Koji & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "Dopamine and Risk Preferences in Different Domains," SIFR Research Report Series 71, Institute for Financial Research.
  12. repec:dgr:kubcen:200432 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  14. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  15. Sunden, Annika E & Surette, Brian J, 1998. "Gender Differences in the Allocation of Assets in Retirement Savings Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 207-11, May.
  16. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
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