Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1356427
 
 

References (22)



 
 

Citations (12)



 


 



Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?


Alison L. Booth


Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Patrick J. Nolen


University of Essex

March 2009

CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7198

Abstract:     
Women and men may differ in their propensity to choose a risky outcome because of innate preferences or because pressure to conform to gender-stereotypes encourages girls and boys to modify their innate preferences. Single-sex environments are likely to modify students' risk-taking preferences in economically important ways. To test this, we designed a controlled experiment in which subjects were given an opportunity to choose a risky outcome - a real-stakes gamble with a higher expected monetary value than the alternative outcome with a certain payoff - and in which the sensitivity of observed risk choices to environmental factors could be explored. The results of our real-stakes gamble show that gender differences in preferences for risk-taking are indeed sensitive to whether the girl attends a single-sex or coed school. Girls from single-sex schools are as likely to choose the real-stakes gamble as much as boys from either coed or single sex schools, and more likely than coed girls. Moreover, gender differences in preferences for risk-taking are sensitive to the gender mix of the experimental group, with girls being more likely to choose risky outcomes when assigned to all-girl groups. This suggests that observed gender differences in behaviour under uncertainty found in previous studies might reflect social learning rather than inherent gender traits.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: coeducation, controlled experiment, gender, identity, risk attitudes, risk aversion, single-sex schooling

JEL Classification: C9, C91, C92, J16

working papers series


Date posted: March 11, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Booth, Alison L. and Nolen, Patrick J., Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter? (March 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7198. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1356427

Contact Information

Alison L. Booth (Contact Author)
Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 3285 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0182 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Patrick J. Nolen
University of Essex ( email )
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
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References:  22
Citations:  12

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