We find that single women exhibit relatively more risk aversion in financial decision making than single men. Using U.S. sample data, we examine household holdings of risky assets to determine whether there are gender differences in financial risk taking. As wealth increases, the proportion of wealth held as risky assets is estimated to increase by a smaller amount for single women than for single men. Gender differences in financial risk taking are also influenced by age, race, and number of children. Greater financial risk aversion may provide an explanation for women's lower levels of wealth compared with men's. (JEL J16, D81, G11)
Economic Inquiry – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1998
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