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
Date Written: February 13, 2009
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: Suggested Citation