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

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  • Oleg Badunenko
  • Nataliya Barasinska
  • Dorothea Schäfer

Abstract

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-perceived willingness 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleg Badunenko & Nataliya Barasinska & Dorothea Schäfer, 2009. "Risk Attitudes and Investment Decisions across European Countries: Are Women More Conservative Investors than Men?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 928, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp928
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfgang Breuer & Michael Riesener & Astrid Juliane Salzmann, 2014. "Risk aversion vs. individualism: what drives risk taking in household finance?," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(5), pages 446-462, May.
    2. Dowling, Michael & Aribi, Zakaria Ali, 2013. "Female directors and UK company acquisitiveness," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 79-86.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; risk aversion; financial behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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