Risk Aversion and Physical Prowess: Prediction, Choice and Bias
This paper reports on experiments where individuals are asked to make risky decisions for themselves as well as predicting the risky decisions of others. Prior research has generally shown that people expect women to be more risk averse than men and that they, in fact are - a result we also find. We ask whether this is a pure gender effect or whether there is more to this result. In particular, both evolutionary and economic theories suggest that physically stronger decision makers should make riskier decisions, suggesting physical prowess as an underlying cause of gender differences. These experiments explore whether risk aversion is associated with a number of measures of real and perceived physical prowess. We find that forecasters consistently predict the types of risky decision produced by both gender and physical prowess, but often at magnitudes that significantly exaggerate than actual differences. Sources of bias are also examined, showing that specific characteristics of the target and predictor lead to over-estimation or under-estimation of risk preferences.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.econ.vt.edu
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
- James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2005.
"Beauty, Gender and Stereotypes: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments,"
Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series
2006-22, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
- Andreoni,J. & Petrie,R., 2004. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes : evidence from laboratory experiments," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Christian Gollier, 2001. "Wealth Inequality and Asset Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 181-203.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003.
"The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height,"
PIER Working Paper Archive
03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," NBER Working Papers 10522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jones-Lee, M W, 1980. "Maximum Acceptable Physical Risk and a New Measure of Financial Risk-Aversion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 550-68, September.
- Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Time diversification, liquidity constraints, and decreasing aversion to risk on wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1439-1459, October.
- EECKHOUDT, Louis & Christian GOLLIER & Harris SCHLESINGER, 1994.
"Changes in Background Risk and Risk Taking Behavior,"
005, Risk and Insurance Archive.
- Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schlesinger, Harris, 1996. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk-Taking Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 683-89, May.
- Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
- Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994.
"Beauty and the Labor Market,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
- V. Kerry Smith & Mary F. Evans & Hyun Kim & Donald H. Taylor, 2004. "Do the Near-Elderly Value Mortality Risks Differently?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 423-429, February.
- Binswanger, Hans P, 1981.
"Attitudes toward Risk: Theoretical Implications of an Experiment in Rural India,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 867-90, December.
- Hans Binswanger, 1981. "Attitudes toward risk: Theoretical implications of an experiment in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00010, The Field Experiments Website.
- Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
- Dinky Daruvala, 2007. "Gender, risk and stereotypes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 265-283, December.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
- Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008.
"Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence,"
Handbook of Experimental Economics Results,
- Sunden, Annika E & Surette, Brian J, 1998. "Gender Differences in the Allocation of Assets in Retirement Savings Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 207-11, May.
- Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
- Grable, John & Lytton, Ruth H., 1999. "Financial risk tolerance revisited: the development of a risk assessment instrument," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 163-181.
- Rubin, Paul H & Paul, Chris W, II, 1979. "An Evolutionary Model of Taste for Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(4), pages 585-96, October.
- Catherine C. Eckel, 2007. "People Playing Games: The Human Face of Experimental Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 840–857, April.
- Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1999.
"On the Evolution of Attitudes towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 125-143, July.
- Dekel, E. & Scotchmer, S., 1999. "On the Evolution of Attitudes Towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games," Papers 4-99, Tel Aviv.
- Chetan Dave & Catherine Eckel & Cathleen Johnson & Christian Rojas, 2010. "Eliciting risk preferences: When is simple better?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 219-243, December.
- 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.
- Arthur J. Robson, 2001. "The Biological Basis of Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 11-33, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vpi:wpaper:e07-11. 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: (Djavad Salehi-Isfahani)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.