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Risk Attitudes and Investment Decisions across European Countries: Are Women More Conservative Investors than Men?

  • Oleg Badunenko
  • Nataliya Barasinska
  • Dorothea Schäfer

This study questions the popular stereotype that women are more risk averse than men in their financial investment decisions. The analysis is based on micro-level data from large-scale surveys of private households in five European countries. In our analysis of investment decisions, we directly account for individuals' self-perceivedwillingness to take financial risks. The empirical evidence we provide only weakly supports the gender differences argument. We find that women are less likely to invest in risky financial assets. However, when the probability of investing is controlled for, males and females are found to allocate equal shares of their wealth to risky assets.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.342080.de/diw_sp0224.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 224.

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Length: 43 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp224
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  2. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Heckman, James J. & Meijers, Huub, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 3985, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Luigi Guiso & Michael Haliassos & Tullio Jappelli, 2002. "Household Stockholding in Europe: Where Do We Stand and Where Do We Go?," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0209, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
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  14. 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.
  15. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  16. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  18. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2005. "The Role Of Risk Aversion In Predicting Individual Behavior," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 546, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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  20. Giuliano, Paola, 2006. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Warneryd, Karl-Erik, 1996. "Risk attitudes and risky behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 749-770, December.
  22. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  23. Carroll, Christopher D & Rhee, Byung-Kun & Rhee, Changyong, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-99, August.
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