IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/311.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Chadi, Cornelia
  • Jirjahn, Uwe

Abstract

Previous international research has shown that women are more risk averse than men. This gives rise to the question whether the gender gap in risk attitudes is shaped by the social environment. We address this question by examining risk attitudes among East and West Germans. Originated from different family policies during Germany’s separation, East Germans have more equal gender roles than West Germans. Thus, if the gender gap reflects socially constructed norms, it should be smaller among East Germans. Using data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), our empirical analysis confirms this prediction. Specifically with respect to career and financial matters, the gender gap in risk tolerance is smaller among East Germans. We find no evidence that the East German gender gap has converged to the higher West German level after reunification. By contrast, the West German gap has narrowed over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Chadi, Cornelia & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2019. "Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 311, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:311
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/191755/1/GLO-DP-0311.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2016. "Gender Roles and Medical Progress," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(3), pages 650-695.
    2. Chen, Yan & Katuščák, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2013. "Why canʼt a woman bid more like a man?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 181-213.
    3. 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.
    4. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 17, pages 1543-1590, Elsevier.
    5. 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.
    6. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg & Michael Wedow, 2015. "Let Bygones be Bygones? Socialist Regimes and Personalities in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 5440, CESifo.
    7. Jirjahn, Uwe & Chadi, Cornelia, 2016. "Risk Attitude and Nonmarital Birth," IZA Discussion Papers 10316, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Heineck, Guido & Süssmuth, Bernd, 2013. "A different look at Lenin’s legacy: Social capital and risk taking in the Two Germanies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 789-803.
    9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    10. Uwe Jirjahn & Cornelia Chadi, 2020. "Out-of-partnership births in East and West Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 853-881, September.
    11. Nicole Hiekel & Aart C. Liefbroer & Anne-Rigt Poortman, 2015. "Marriage and separation risks among German cohabiters: Differences between types of cohabiter," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 69(2), pages 237-251, July.
    12. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    13. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "Does democracy foster trust?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 251-269, June.
    14. Christofides, Louis N. & Polycarpou, Alexandros & Vrachimis, Konstantinos, 2013. "Gender wage gaps, ‘sticky floors’ and ‘glass ceilings’ in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 86-102.
    15. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    16. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    17. Uwe Jirjahn, Cornelia Struewing, 2018. "Single Motherhood in East and West Germany: What Can Explain the Differences?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 15(2), pages 197-229, December.
    18. Booth, Alison & Cardona-Sosa, Lina & Nolen, Patrick, 2014. "Gender differences in risk aversion: Do single-sex environments affect their development?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 126-154.
    19. 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.
    20. Marianne Bertrand & Emir Kamenica & Jessica Pan, 2015. "Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 571-614.
    21. Andreas Lichter & Max Löffler & Sebastian Siegloch, 2021. "The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 741-789.
    22. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 7.
    23. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2012. "Gender differences in competitiveness and risk taking: Comparing children in Colombia and Sweden," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 11-23.
    24. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 4.
    25. Andreas Pondorfer & Toman Barsbai & Ulrich Schmidt, 2017. "Gender Differences in Stereotypes of Risk Preferences: Experimental Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patrilineal Society," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(10), pages 3268-3284, October.
    26. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, in: Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 113, pages 1061-1073, Elsevier.
    27. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 2.
    28. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 926-937, December.
    29. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    30. Haan, Peter & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2011. "Can child care policy encourage employment and fertility?: Evidence from a structural model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 498-512, August.
    31. Stefan Bauernschuster & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Political regimes and the family: how sex-role attitudes continue to differ in reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 5-27, January.
    32. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Helbach, Christoph & Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 2011. "Still different after all these years: Solidarity behavior in East and West Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1373-1376.
    33. 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.
    34. Henriette Engelhardt & Heike Trappe & Jaap Dronkers, 2002. "Differences in family policy and the intergenerational transmission of divorce: a comparison between the former East and West Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    35. Pondorfer, Andreas & Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Rehdanz, Katrin & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Gender differences in risk preferences and stereotypes: Experimental evidence from a matrilineal and a patrilineal society," Kiel Working Papers 1957, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    36. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    37. David A. Jaeger & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Holger Bonin, 2010. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 684-689, August.
    38. Joop Hartog & Ada Ferrer‐i‐Carbonell & Nicole Jonker, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
    39. David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842.
    40. Francine Blau & Peter Brummund & Albert Liu, 2013. "Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender 1970–2009: Adjusting for the Impact of Changes in the Occupational Coding System," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 471-492, April.
    41. René Böheim & Mario Lackner, 2015. "Gender and risk taking: evidence from jumping competitions," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 178(4), pages 883-902, October.
    42. Pannenberg, Markus & Friehe, Tim & Wedow, Michael, 2015. "Let Bygones be Bygones? Political Regimes and Personalities in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112841, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    43. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 3.
    44. Peter Haan, 2005. "State Dependence and Female Labor Supply in Germany: The Extensive and the Intensive Margin," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 538, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    45. Francine Blau & Peter Brummund & Albert Liu, 2013. "Erratum to: Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender 1970–2009: Adjusting for the Impact of Changes in the Occupational Coding System," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 493-494, April.
    46. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
    47. Julie R. Agnew & Lisa R. Anderson & Jeffrey R. Gerlach & Lisa R. Szykman, 2008. "Who Chooses Annuities? An Experimental Investigation of the Role of Gender, Framing, and Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 418-422, May.
    48. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 8.
    49. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 5.
    50. Gong, Binglin & Yang, Chun-Lei, 2012. "Gender differences in risk attitudes: Field experiments on the matrilineal Mosuo and the patriarchal Yi," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 59-65.
    51. Ariely, Dan & Garcia-Rada, Ximena & Hornuf, Lars & Mann, Heather, 2014. "The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems," Discussion Papers in Economics 20974, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    52. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
    53. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Report 2012 [Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2012]," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 4391, December.
    54. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    55. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2012. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 50-58.
    56. Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 6.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Uwe Jirjahn & Cornelia Chadi, 2020. "Out-of-partnership births in East and West Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 853-881, September.
    2. Catherine Eckel & Lata Gangadharan & Philip J. Grossman & Nina Xue, 2021. "The gender leadership gap: insights from experiments," Chapters, in: Ananish Chaudhuri (ed.), A Research Agenda for Experimental Economics, chapter 7, pages 137-162, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Hillesland, Marya, 2019. "Gender differences in risk behavior: An analysis of asset allocation decisions in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 127-137.
    4. Della Giusta, Marina & Di Girolamo, Amalia, 2018. "Have your cake and eat it too: real effort and risk aversion in schoolchildren," MPRA Paper 89528, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. D'Exelle, Ben & Gutekunst, Christine & Riedl, Arno, 2020. "The Effect of Gender and Gender Pairing on Bargaining: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment," Research Memorandum 034, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    6. Silvia Saccardo & Aniela Pietrasz & Uri Gneezy, 2018. "On the Size of the Gender Difference in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(4), pages 1541-1554, April.
    7. Agarwal, Sumit & Green, Richard & Rosenblatt, Eric & Yao, Vincent W. & Zhang, Jian, 2018. "Gender difference and intra-household economic power in mortgage signing order," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 86-100.
    8. Brink, Siegrun & Kriwoluzky, Silke & Bijedic, Teita & Ettl, Kerstin & Welter, Friederike, 2014. "Gender, Innovation und Unternehmensentwicklung," IfM-Materialien 228, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    9. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Ottone, Stefania & Solferino, Nazaria, 2013. "Allocation criteria under task performance: The gendered preference for protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 96-111.
    10. Sumit Agarwal & Richard K. Green & Eric Rosenblatt & Vincent Yao & Jian Zhang, 2015. "Who Bears the Pen? Relative Income and Gender Gap in Mortgage Signing Order," Working Paper 9475, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    11. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Smith, Nina, 2013. "Female-Led Firms: Performance and Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 7613, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Czibor, Eszter & Claussen, Jörg & van Praag, Mirjam, 2019. "Women in a men’s world: Risk taking in an online card game community," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 62-89.
    13. Booth, Alison & Cardona-Sosa, Lina & Nolen, Patrick, 2014. "Gender differences in risk aversion: Do single-sex environments affect their development?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 126-154.
    14. Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna, 2015. "Gender, stock market participation and financial literacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 140-142.
    15. Booth, Alison L., 2016. "Gender in economics: A story in the making," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 122-129.
    16. Uwe Jirjahn, Cornelia Struewing, 2018. "Single Motherhood in East and West Germany: What Can Explain the Differences?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 15(2), pages 197-229, December.
    17. Eva Ranehill & Niklas Zethraeus & Liselott Blomberg & Bo von Schoultz & Angelica Lindén Hirschberg & Magnus Johannesson & Anna Dreber, 2018. "Hormonal Contraceptives Do Not Impact Economic Preferences: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(10), pages 4515-4532, October.
    18. Marc Oliver Rieger & Mei Wang & Thorsten Hens, 2015. "Risk Preferences Around the World," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(3), pages 637-648, March.
    19. 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.
    20. Halko, Marja-Liisa & Kaustia, Markku & Alanko, Elias, 2012. "The gender effect in risky asset holdings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 66-81.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk Preferences; Gender Roles; Nurture; Family Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

    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:zbw:glodps:311. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    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.