Gender Gap in Savings Goal Choice: Evidence from Mixed Methods
35 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2019
Date Written: July 30, 2019
There has been a good deal of research on gender psychological differences in the context of financial decision making, but no research on the impact of gender difference in the setting of savings goals. To address this question we use two unique datasets, one quantitative and one qualitative. Our quantitative results show that men set more challenging savings goals than women, even when we control for wealth, income, and portfolio risk taking. Our qualitative results corroborate these findings. Women are more likely to be content with targeting a comfortable life in retirement, setting an unambitious savings targets. They also tend to be more concerned than men by eventual possible future impediments to saving, such as adverse income shocks. This causes them to focus more on the accessibility of their savings which implies that they are more likely to anticipate that they will have to reduce savings in the future. In contrast, men seem less concerned about possible future barriers to saving money. They are also more committed to saving and to wealth accumulation.
Keywords: Savings goal, Gender gap, Commitment to save, Consumers’ behaviour, Mixed methods, Gender gap in wealth
JEL Classification: G40, D14, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation