Analyzing a large data set from an online card game platform, a traditionally masculine environment with low female representation, we provide novel field evidence for gender differences in risk taking. Our paper complements existing laboratory experiments by studying a setting where selection into and out of the choice environment is endogenous, choices and outcomes are publicly observable and decisions are repeated over hundreds of rounds. We show that despite the possibility of sorting, imitation or learning, female players persistently choose lower risk-return profiles than men. We argue that the observed gender differences in risk taking result from true preference differences rather than a gap in skill, confidence or beliefs.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 23 November 2018
- Risk preferences
- Natural experiment