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Economic systems and risk preferences: evidence from East and West Germany

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  • Neugart, Michael

Abstract

For standard economic models it is typically assumed that preferences are given and stable. But do economic systems shape individuals' risk preferences? Using the reunification of East and West Germany as a natural experiment I evaluate differences in financial risk taking comparing Eastern and Western German households for almost two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Controlling for a large set of socio-economic variables East Germans having been ``treated'' by a command economy were more prone to taking financial risk than West German citizens. The differences were quantitatively relevant after the fall of the Iron Curtain and almost vanished by 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Neugart, Michael, 2016. "Economic systems and risk preferences: evidence from East and West Germany," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145475, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145475
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • P50 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - General

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