IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ldr/wpaper/87.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gender and Risk Taking in the Classroom

Author

Listed:
  • Justine Burns

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Simon Halliday
  • Malcolm Keswell

Abstract

We examine whether differences in risk preferences explain gender differentials in test scores amongst a large class of undergraduate microeconomics students, where students were evaluated using multiple choice questions. In each of five class tests, the negative penalty associated with an incorrect answer was randomly varied across questions. We show that female students exhibit lower risk propensities on average, and that they are more responsive than males to an increase in the penalty for an incorrect answer. Controlling for di erences in risk preferences, we show that the gender differential in relation to answering any given question correctly reduces by a third, and that the gender differential in overall test scores becomes statistically insigni cant. This result is robust to a variety of distributional assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Justine Burns & Simon Halliday & Malcolm Keswell, 2012. "Gender and Risk Taking in the Classroom," SALDRU Working Papers 87, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:87
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://opensaldru.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11090/178/2012_87.pdf?sequence=1
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
    2. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Choosing to compete: How different are girls and boys?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 542-555.
    3. Alex Van der merwe, 2006. "Identifying Some Constraints In First Year Economics Teaching And Learning At A Typical South African University Of Technology," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(1), pages 150-159, March.
    4. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2012. "Gender differences in risk behaviour: does nurture matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages 56-78, February.
    5. Bajtelsmit, Vickie L. & Bernasek, Alexandra & Jianakoplos, Nancy A., 1999. "Gender differences in defined contribution pension decisions," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-10.
    6. Janice Peterson & KimMarie McGoldrick, 2009. "Pluralism and Economic Education: a Learning Theory Approach," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(2), pages 72-90.
    7. Stephen Buckles & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Using Multiple-Choice Questions to Evaluate In-Depth Learning of Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 48-57, January.
    8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    9. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
    10. Susan Pozo & Charles A. Stull, 2006. "Requiring a Math Skills Unit: Results of a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 437-441, May.
    11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    12. Charles L. Ballard & Marianne F. Johnson, 2004. "Basic Math Skills and Performance in an Introductory Economics Class," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 3-23, January.
    13. Kenneth G. Elzinga & Daniel O. Melaugh, 2009. "35,000 Principles of Economics Students: Some Lessons Learned," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 32-46, July.
    14. Leonard Smith & Lawrence Edwards, 2007. "A Multivariate Evaluation Of Mainstream And Academic Development Courses In First-Year Microeconomics," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(1), pages 99-117, March.
    15. Mary O. Borg & Harriet A. Stranahan, 2002. "Personality Type and Student Performance in Upper-Level Economics Courses: The Importance of Race and Gender," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 3-14, January.
    16. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    17. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    18. L Edwards, 2000. "An Econometric Evaluation of Academic Development Programmes in Economics," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 68(3), pages 204-215, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:43-62 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experimental Economics; Risk Aversion; Economics Education;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:87. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alison Siljeur). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sauctza.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.