Can Risk-Taking Preferences Be Modified? Some Experimental Evidence

30 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014

See all articles by Alison L. Booth

Alison L. Booth

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

Patrick J. Nolen

University of Essex; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: April 8, 2014

Abstract

We summarise our two sets of controlled experiments designed to see if single-sex classes within coeducational environments modify students’ risk-taking attitudes. In Booth and Nolen (2012b), subjects are in years 10 and 11, while in Booth, Cardona-Sosa and Nolen (2014), they are first-year university students randomly assigned to single-sex and coed classes. While on average females are significantly less likely than men to make risky choices, on exposure to single-sex environments they behave the same as the males. Thus part of the observed gender difference in behavior under uncertainty found in previous studies might reflect social learning rather than inherent gender traits.

Keywords: gender, risk preferences, single-sex groups, cognitive ability

JEL Classification: C900, C910, C920, J160, D010, D800, J160, J240

Suggested Citation

Booth, Alison L. and Nolen, Patrick J., Can Risk-Taking Preferences Be Modified? Some Experimental Evidence (April 8, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4751, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2434468

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)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Patrick J. Nolen

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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