Risk Attitudes and Investment Decisions across European Countries - Are Women More Conservative Investors than Men?

45 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2009 Last revised: 2 Nov 2009

See all articles by Nataliya Barasinska

Nataliya Barasinska

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Oleg Badunenko

DIW-Berlin

Dorothea Schaefer

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); JIBS

Date Written: February 13, 2009

Abstract

This study questions the popular stereotype that women are more risk averse than men in their investment decisions. The analysis is based on micro-level data from large-scale surveys of private households in five European countries. We enrich the conventional approach to examination of gender differences by explicitly controlling for investors' self-perceived risk aversion. Our results confirm the gender stereotype only partially. We find that women are less likely to hold risky assets. However, female owners of risky assets allocate an equal or even a higher share of their wealth to these assets than men. Our findings suggest that especially in case of women, the declared attitude toward financial risks may be misleading as it does not necessarily reflect the actual willingness to bear risks.

Keywords: gender, risk aversion, investment decisions

JEL Classification: G11, J16

Suggested Citation

Barasinska, Nataliya and Badunenko, Oleg and Schaefer, Dorothea, Risk Attitudes and Investment Decisions across European Countries - Are Women More Conservative Investors than Men? (February 13, 2009). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 928. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1342731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1342731

Nataliya Barasinska (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Oleg Badunenko

DIW-Berlin ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://obadunenko.googlepages.com/

Dorothea Schaefer

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49 30 8978 9162 (Phone)
+49 30 8978 9104 (Fax)

JIBS ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

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