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Are Women More Risk Averse?

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  • Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon
  • Bernasek, Alexandra

Abstract

The authors find that single women exhibit relatively more risk aversion in financial decision making than single men. Using U.S. sample data, they examine household holdings of risky assets to determine whether there are gender differences in financial risk taking. As wealth increases, the proportion of wealth held as risky assets is estimated to increase by a smaller amount for single women than for single men. Gender differences in financial risk taking are also influenced by age, race, and number of children. Greater financial risk aversion may provide an explanation for women's lower levels of wealth compared with men's. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:36:y:1998:i:4:p:620-30
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