Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/121500
Authors: 
Schmidt, Ulrich
Friedl, Andreas
Lima de Miranda, Katharina
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Kiel Working Paper 2011
Abstract: 
The present paper contributes to the controversy regarding gender differences in risk taking by investigating the impact of social comparison. Social comparison is formalized by integrating a social reference point into the model of Köszegi and Rabin. Drawing on previous results from evolutionary biology, we hypothesize that men (women) focus more on relative (absolute) income, i.e., the relative weight of social gain-loss utility is higher for men than for women. Our model predicts that risk taking is higher for correlated than for uncorrelated risks and that this effect is stronger for men than for women. These predictions are confirmed by a simple classroom experiment. We conclude that social comparison and the correlation of risks play an important role in the discussion of gender differences in risk taking.
Subjects: 
risk taking
gender differences
correlation of risks
social reference point
JEL: 
C91
D81
J16
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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