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Gender-Related Variability in Information Processing of Disclosure Documents

M. G. Ceravolo (), Vincenzo Farina, L. Fattobene (), L. Leonelli () and G. Raggetti ()
Additional contact information
M. G. Ceravolo: University Politecnica Marche
L. Fattobene: University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
L. Leonelli: University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
G. Raggetti: BrainLine Association

Journal of Consumer Policy, 2021, vol. 44, issue 2, No 3, 217-233

Abstract: Abstract Disclosure is used worldwide as a tool to increase transparency and help investors to make their decisions, thus partially overcoming asymmetric information in financial markets. This research seeks to explore gender-related variability in visual attention allocation to the Key Investor Information Document, and in the evaluation of product financial attractiveness. The study exploits the eye-tracking methodology to collect neural data, responding to the call for considering new data sources. The analysis shows that men tend to dedicate more attention to the sections Objectives and Past performance while women spend more time to scan the sections Risk-reward profile and Costs and charges; When evaluating product financial attractiveness, women tend to evaluate them as poorly financially attractive more often than men. Results reveal the existence of gender-related variability in the visual search strategy for relevant information, which, in turn, can impact on the phase of product evaluation. These findings highlight the professional responsibility of regulators and supervisors to monitor sellers and marketers’ behaviours when they interact with consumers. Moreover, this study could provide support to develop financial disclosure documents considering individual differences and ensuring that adequate attention is allocated by investors to all financial information sources, thus raising the level of investor protection. Eventually, the study stimulates innovations to be embedded in the world-wide ongoing regulatory developments that aim at increasing transparency requirements.

Keywords: Investor protection; Attention; Disclosure; Gender; Information; Eye tracking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10603-021-09479-z

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