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Title:Gender differences in risk aversion: Do single-sex environments affect their development? PDF Logo
Authors:Booth, Alison
Sosa, Lina Cardona
Nolen, Patrick
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6133
Abstract:Single-sex classes within coeducational environments are likely to modify students' risk-taking attitudes in economically important ways. To test this, we designed a controlled experiment using first year college students who made choices over real-stakes lotteries at two distinct dates. Students were randomly assigned to classes of three types: all female, all male, and coeducational. They were not allowed to change group subsequently. We found that women are less likely to make risky choices than men at both dates. However, after eight weeks in a single-sex environment, women were significantly more likely to choose the lottery than their counterparts in coeducational groups. These results are robust to the inclusion of controls for IQ and for personality type, as well as to a number of sensitivity tests. Our findings suggest that observed gender differences in behaviour under uncertainty found in previous studies might partly reflect social learning rather than inherent gender traits.
Subjects:gender
risk preferences
single-sex groups
cognitive ability
JEL:C9
C91
C92
J16
D01
D80
J16
J24
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201112136855
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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