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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  4. Seda Ertac & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2010. "Deciding to Decide: Gender, Leadership and Risk-Taking in Groups," KoƧ University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1028, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  5. 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.
  6. Dekel, E. & Scotchmer, S., 1999. "On the Evolution of Attitudes Towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games," Papers 4-99, Tel Aviv.
  7. 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.
  8. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  9. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  10. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Risk Attitudes: An Experiment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7vz7w609, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:dgr:kubcen:200432 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Haigh, Michael S. & List, John A., 2002. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 28554, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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