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Women and risk tolerance in an aging world

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Faff
  • Terrence Hallahan
  • Michael McKenzie

Abstract

Purpose - Using a very large sample of psychometrically derived risk profiles of adult Australians, the paper aims to explore the linkage between financial risk tolerance and gender. Design/methodology/approach - The key proxy of risk tolerance score (RTS) derives from a 25 question survey devised by Finametrica and used in real client situations. Using multiple regression analysis in which RTS is the dependent variable, the paper tested the importance of gender in explaining cross-sectional variation, while controlling for a range of demographic characteristics. The impact of gender was further explored through dummy variable enhanced regression analysis constructed to test the increment in each demographic coefficient derived from being female relative to the base case of being male. Findings - The paper documents strong evidence that women differ from men in their attitude to financial risk taking. In general, women are shown to be less risk tolerant than counterpart males, with this differential varying depending on the demographic feature considered. We also find that marital status, number of dependents, age, education, income, combined income, and net assets are significant determinants of risk tolerance in their own right. Originality/value - Given the extent to which women have more conservative risk profiles and the extent to which this conservatism is exacerbated with age (given the longevity advantage of women), one would expect to see asset allocation decisions leading to an overall shift to less risky investment portfolios.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Faff & Terrence Hallahan & Michael McKenzie, 2011. "Women and risk tolerance in an aging world," International Journal of Accounting and Information Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(2), pages 100-117, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijaipp:v:19:y:2011:i:2:p:100-117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fatih B. GUMUS & Yusuf DAYIOGLU, 2015. "An Analysis on The Socio-Economic and Demographic Factors That Have an Effect on The Risk Taking Preferences of Personal Investors," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(1), pages 136-147.
    2. Abdulkadir Abdulrashid Rafindadi, 2015. "Are the Contentious Issues of Exchange Rate Misalignment in Nigeria a Prelude to the Country’s Currency Crisis?," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 5(3), pages 716-731.
    3. Alan D. Smith, 2011. "Corporate social responsibility implementation: Comparison of large not-for-profit and for-profit companies," International Journal of Accounting and Information Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(3), pages 231-246, September.
    4. Sandip Chattopadhyay & Ranjan Dasgupta, 2015. "Demographic and Socioeconomic Impact on Risk Attitudes of the Indian Investors - An Empirical Study," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(4), pages 601-623, April.
    5. Lemaster, Philip & Strough, JoNell, 2014. "Beyond Mars and Venus: Understanding gender differences in financial risk tolerance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 148-160.
    6. Brian Lucey & Charles Larkin, 2012. "Risk Tolerance and Demographic Characteristics: Preliminary Irish Evidence," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp406, IIIS.

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