Gender Differences in Risk-Taking: Evidence from Professional Basketball

32 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2016

See all articles by René Böheim

René Böheim

Johannes Kepler University

Christoph Freudenthaler

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Mario Lackner

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Abstract

We analyze gender differences in risk-taking in high-pressure situations. Using novel data from professional athletes (NBA and WNBA), we find that male teams increase their risk-taking towards the end of matches when a successful risky strategy could secure winning the match. Female teams, in contrast, reduce their risk-taking in these situations. The less time left in a match, the larger is the gap. When the costs of an unsuccessful risky strategy are very large (losing the tournament), we find no increase in risk-taking for male teams.

Keywords: risk-taking, gender differences, tournament incentives

JEL Classification: D81, J16, L83

Suggested Citation

Boheim, Rene and Freudenthaler, Christoph and Lackner, Mario, Gender Differences in Risk-Taking: Evidence from Professional Basketball. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2803843

Rene Boheim (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University ( email )

Linz
Austria

Christoph Freudenthaler

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Altenbergerstr. 69
A-4040 Linz, 4040
Austria

Mario Lackner

Johannes Kepler University Linz ( email )

Altenbergerstr. 69
A-4040 Linz, Uper Austria 4040
Austria

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