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The impact of gender on individual decisions: Evidence from the "Millionaire Show"


  • Lehmann, Erik E.
  • Warning, Susanne


In order to analyse whether women and men differ in their decision making under risk and uncertainty, we use data from the game show 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'. It turns out that i) there are gender differences in choosing a lottery or a certain value only for 'largestakes' lotteries, ii) the decision making process differs significantly between 'small' and 'large' stake lotteries for both women and men, and iii) people with lower income tend to react more reluctant to choose a kind of certain value in order of a lottery. The results hold even after controlling for socio-economic variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Lehmann, Erik E. & Warning, Susanne, 2003. "The impact of gender on individual decisions: Evidence from the "Millionaire Show"," Discussion Papers, Series I 325, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kondp1:325

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard H. Thaler & Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman & Alan Schwartz, 1997. "The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 647-661.
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    4. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    5. Hvide, Hans K., 2002. "Pragmatic beliefs and overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 15-28, May.
    6. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    7. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    8. Donkers, Bas & Melenberg, Bertrand & Van Soest, Arthur, 2001. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries: A Large Sample Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 165-195, March.
    9. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    10. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "The Evolution of Attitudes to Risk: Lottery Tickets and Relative Wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 190-207, June.
    11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    12. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
    13. Michael A. Sadler, 2000. "Escaping Poverty: Risk-Taking and Endogenous Inequality in a Model of Equilibrium Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 704-725, October.
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    More about this item


    Decision-making under uncertainty; Gender differences; gambling;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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