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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|11050||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Global Finance Journal, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2013, Pages 140–152
We investigate the gender difference in financial risk aversion using a survey of finance professors from universities across the United States. We compare their actual portfolio allocations to that of respondents in the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). We find that among highly educated individuals, women are significantly more risk averse than men. However, we find that when men and women have both attained a high level of financial education, they are equally likely to invest a significant portion of their portfolio in risky assets, suggesting that financial education mitigates the gender difference in financial risk aversion.
There is evidence in the finance literature that gender plays a role in the individual/household portfolio allocation decision, where women tend to invest more in low risk investments and hence are found to be more risk-averse than men.1 However, most studies that find gender to be a significant determinant of risk aversion also find various proxies of the level of education to be significant. In addition, even when gender is insignificant, risk aversion has been found to be inversely related to the level of education.2 There is also a growing body of research that documents a positive relationship between financial education/knowledge and the propensity for investing in risky assets.3 In this paper we investigate if the gender difference in risk aversion reported in prior studies is confounded by gender biases in the level of education and/or knowledge of finance. To disentangle the gender bias from any education/finance knowledge bias, we use two datasets in our empirical investigation. The first dataset is the 2004 Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which is a triennial survey of the balance sheet, pension, income, and other demographic characteristics of U.S. families that has been used by researchers to investigate the individual/household portfolio allocation decision. This survey allows us to investigate the gender difference in risk aversion among individuals who have attained different levels of formal education. We find that in the SCF sample, women are significantly more risk-averse than men. We also find that income and education are the most important variables in explaining the individual's level of risk aversion in this sample. Using the SCF data, we also investigate the gender difference in risk aversion among individuals who have completed at least a college degree. Even in this sample of highly educated individuals we find women to be significantly more risk averse than men. These results suggest that education in general does not mitigate the gender difference in risk aversion. Our second dataset is the result of a survey of finance professors. During the fall of 2007, we surveyed finance faculty at universities across the United States and collected information on their actual investment holdings as well as their household and other demographic information. Since all individuals in this sample have achieved at least a graduate finance degree, we implicitly control for the level of financial education. Using this sample, we find that when individuals have the same level of financial education, there is no gender difference in the level of risk-aversion. The reduced gender difference in risk aversion observed in the finance faculty sample may be due to the women (men) in this sample being less (more) risk-averse than their respective counterparts in the SCF sample.4 We investigate which of these scenarios is more likely to occur by comparing the risk aversion of men and women in the finance faculty sample to the risk aversion of the men and women with a college degree in the SCF sample. We find that increased financial education results in greater affinity for risk-taking for both men and women. Whereas most prior studies that have investigated the gender difference in risk taking have focused primarily on retirement savings, in this study we investigate the asset allocation in direct investments. In addition, to the best of our knowledge we are the first to investigate the effect of formal education in finance on the risk aversion of men and women. Based on the analysis of the investor's direct investments we find that investors with advanced education in finance are less risk averse and that financial education does mitigate the gender difference in risk aversion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we use the results of a survey of finance professors to test if there is a gender difference in risk aversion when the level of financial education is controlled for. Our sample consists of 1147 finance professors from universities across the United States. We compare their actual portfolio allocations to that of respondents in the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). Similar to most prior studies, we find that within the SCF sample, both the level of education and gender are significant factors in the propensity to invest in risky assets. However, most of the women in this sample have lower education than men. Further, within the SCF sample, for those households where the respondent is married or live with a partner, there is no indication of the gender of the financial decision-maker. The results of our survey of finance professors provide us with a rich dataset which includes precise information on the gender of the financial decision-maker within each household. Further, since all the respondents in this sample, have at least a graduate degree in finance, we implicitly control for the level of financial education. We find that the gender-difference in risk aversion that is pervasive in the SCF sample is significantly reduced when the level of financial education is controlled for. In particular, using cross-sectional Tobit analysis we find that when individuals have the same level of financial education, after controlling for age, income, debts, race and the number of children in the household, there is no gender difference in risk-aversion in their direct investments. Our results suggest that it is important to control for financial education when investigating gender difference in risk aversion. One potential concern with our study is that omitted variables may explain the results. For example, it may be argued that less risk-averse women choose to get finance degrees, or that a woman from a wealthier household is more likely to pursue a finance degree and individuals from wealthier households tend to be less risk averse. While this is certainly possible, this is only conjecture and therefore one potential extension of this paper is to survey the same women before and after their finance degree and test whether their level of risk-aversion changes over time.19