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Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany

Cornelia Chadi and Uwe Jirjahn

No 311, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Abstract: Previous international research has shown that women are more risk averse than men. This gives rise to the question whether the gender gap in risk attitudes is shaped by the social environment. We address this question by examining risk attitudes among East and West Germans. Originated from different family policies during Germany’s separation, East Germans have more equal gender roles than West Germans. Thus, if the gender gap reflects socially constructed norms, it should be smaller among East Germans. Using data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), our empirical analysis confirms this prediction. Specifically with respect to career and financial matters, the gender gap in risk tolerance is smaller among East Germans. We find no evidence that the East German gender gap has converged to the higher West German level after reunification. By contrast, the West German gap has narrowed over time.

Keywords: Risk Preferences; Gender Roles; Nurture; Family Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 J16 P51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/191755/1/GLO-DP-0311.pdf (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:glodps:311

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