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Safe options induce gender differences in risk attitudes

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  • Crosetto, P.
  • Filippin, A.

Abstract

Gender differences in risk attitudes are frequently observed, although recent literature has shown that they are context dependent rather than ubiquitous. In this paper we try to rationalize the heterogeneity of results investigating experimentally whether the presence of a safe option among the set of alternatives explains why females are more risk averse than males. We manipulate three widely used risk elicitation methods finding that the availability of a safe option causally affects risk attitudes. The presence of a riskless alternative does not entirely explain the gender gap but it has a significant effect in triggering or magnifying (when already present) such differences. Despite the pronounced instability that usually characterizes the measurement of risk preferences, we show, estimating a structural model, that the effect of a safe option is remarkably stable accross tasks. This paper constitutes the first successful attempt to shed light on the determinants of gender differences in risk attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Crosetto, P. & Filippin, A., 2017. "Safe options induce gender differences in risk attitudes," Working Papers 2017-05, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  • Handle: RePEc:gbl:wpaper:2017-05
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Comeig, Irene & Holt, Charles & Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, Ainhoa, 2022. "Upside versus downside risk: Gender, stakes, and skewness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 21-30.
    2. Shastry, Gauri Kartini & Shurchkov, Olga & Xia, Lingjun Lotus, 2020. "Luck or skill: How women and men react to noisy feedback," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    3. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2018. "Gender, risk preferences and willingness to compete in a random sample of the Swedish population," Working Paper Series 10/2018, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    4. Holzmeister, Felix & Stefan, Matthias, 2019. "The Risk Elicitation Puzzle Revisited: Across-Methods (In)consistency?," OSF Preprints pj9u2, Center for Open Science.
    5. Hernandez-Arenaz, Iñigo, 2020. "Stereotypes and tournament self-selection: A theoretical and experimental approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    6. Felix Holzmeister & Matthias Stefan, 2019. "The risk elicitation puzzle revisited: Across-methods (in)consistency?," Working Papers 2019-19, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    7. Gabriel Yong Ping Chua & Hui Jun Er & Shao Yi Liaw & Tai-Sen He, 2020. "Pitch Right: The Effect of Vocal Pitch on Risk Aversion," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(4), pages 3131-3139.
    8. Felix Holzmeister & Matthias Stefan, 2021. "The risk elicitation puzzle revisited: Across-methods (in)consistency?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 593-616, June.
    9. Grimm, Stefan, 2018. "Show What You Risk - Norms for Risk Taking," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 119, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GENDER DIFFERENCES; RISK ATTITUDES; EXPERIMENT; SAFE OPTIONS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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