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Risk attitudes and migration experience

Vladimír Baláž () and Allan M. Williams

Journal of Risk Research, 2011, vol. 14, issue 5, 583-596

Abstract: Although risk and uncertainty are intrinsic to human migration, there is surprisingly little explicit research on the willingness to take risks in this context. This paper analyses whether migrants are more or less likely than non-migrants to be risk tolerant, and whether these differences are gendered. Attitudes are explored in terms of responses under conditions of both risk and uncertainty, and self-assessment of capabilities is also taken into account. The research is based on a sample of students who provide a relatively homogeneous group in socio-economic terms, and relatively large numbers of individuals with experiences of temporary migration. Their attitudes to risk were assessed under experimental conditions, which measured their willingness to take risks on hypothetical gambles under different conditions. While there are some differences between males and females, and between migrants and non-migrants, the outstanding finding is the far greater risk tolerance of female migrants as opposed to female non-migrants, especially when compared to males.

Date: 2011
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