Gender Differences in Optimism

27 Pages Posted: 28 May 2019

See all articles by Carl Magnus Bjuggren

Carl Magnus Bjuggren

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Niklas Elert

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: April 24, 2019

Abstract

This paper examines gender differences in optimism about the economy. We measure optimism using Swedish survey data in which respondents stated their beliefs about the country’s future economic situation. We argue that this measure of optimism is preferable to common measurements in the literature since it avoids confounding individuals’ economic situation with their perception of the future and it can be compared to economic indicators. In line with previous research, we find that men are more optimistic than women; however, men are also more prone to be wrong in their beliefs about the future economic situation. Furthermore, in sharp economic downturns, the gender differences in optimism disappear. This convergence in beliefs can be explained by the amount of available information on the economy.

Keywords: Gender, Optimism, Perception of the future, Economic downturns

JEL Classification: J16, D83

Suggested Citation

Bjuggren, Carl Magnus and Elert, Niklas, Gender Differences in Optimism (April 24, 2019). IFN Working Paper No. 1275. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3380182

Carl Magnus Bjuggren (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Niklas Elert

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden
+46(0)703902751 (Phone)

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