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Risk Attitudes and Investment Decisions across European Countries: Are Women More Conservative Investors than Men?

SOEPpapers 224, 43 S.

Oleg Badunenko, Nataliya Barasinska, Dorothea Schäfer


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This study questions the popular stereotype that women are more risk averse than men in their financial investment decisions. The analysis is based on micro-level data from large-scale surveys of private households in five European countries. In our analysis of investment decisions, we directly account for individuals' self-perceivedwillingness to take financial risks. The empirical evidence we provide only weakly supports the gender differences argument. We find that women are less likely to invest in risky financial assets. However, when the probability of investing is controlled for, males and females are found to allocate equal shares of their wealth to risky assets.

Dorothea Schäfer

Research Director Financial Markets in the Communications Department

JEL-Classification: G11;J16
Keywords: Gender, risk aversion, financial behavior
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)