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The Determinants Of Risk Aversion: The Role Of Intergenerational Transmission

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  • Maria De Paola

    () (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between risk attitudes and individual characteristics focusing on the intergenerational transmission of risk preferences. We use a data set on a sample of Italian students allowing us to build different measures of risk aversion, based respectively on a survey asking students about their willing to invest in a risky asset and about their preferences for job security and on the results of an entry test using explicit penalty points in the case of incorrect answers. Consistently with findings emerging form the existing literature, we find that risk aversion is positively related to age, being female and family income and negatively related to individual ability. As far as intergenerational transmission of preferences is concerned, from our analysis it emerges that students whose fathers are entrepreneurs have a higher propensity to take risks, while students whose fathers are employed in the public sector are more risk averse. Only fathers matter for their children risk attitudes. These results are robust to different measures of risk aversion and to different specifications of our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria De Paola, 2010. "The Determinants Of Risk Aversion: The Role Of Intergenerational Transmission," Working Papers 201016, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
  • Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Ottone, Stefania & Solferino, Nazaria, 2013. "Allocation criteria under task performance: The gendered preference for protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 96-111.
    2. Necker, Sarah & Voskort, Andrea, 2014. "Intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes – A revealed preference approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 66-89.
    3. Mäder Miriam & Schwientek Caroline & Riphahn Regina T. & Müller Steffen, 2015. "Intergenerational Transmission of Unemployment – Evidence for German Sons," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(4-5), pages 355-375, August.
    4. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca, 2013. "Does Patience Matter for Marriage Stability? Some Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 7769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Maria Paola & Francesca Gioia, 2017. "Does patience matter in marriage stability? Some evidence from Italy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 549-577, June.
    6. Leuermann, Andrea & Necker, Sarah, 2011. "Intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes: A revealed preference approach," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 11/4, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    7. Philipp Huebler & Andreas Kucher, 2016. "Ashes to ashes, time to time - Parental time discounting and its role in the intergenerational transmission of smoking," Discussion Paper Series 326, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    8. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Procrastination, academic success and the effectiveness of a remedial program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 217-236.
    9. Jaime Ruiz-Tagle V. & Pablo Tapia G., 2012. "Brechas por Género en Aversión al Riesgo," Working Papers wp373, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    10. Maria De Paola & Francesca Gioia, 2011. "Risk Aversion And Major Choice: Evidence From Italian Students," Working Papers 201107, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    11. Andrea Leuermann & Sarah Necker, 2011. "Intergenerational Transmission of Risk Attitudes: A Revealed Preference Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 412, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Shelest Olena, 2015. "Risk of Investments in Human Capital and Expected Worker Mobility," International Journal of Management and Economics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 47(1), pages 82-106, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    risk aversion; college choice; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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