Gender differences in ambiguity aversion under different outcome correlation structures
- 384 Downloads
This paper studies the impact of different outcome correlation structures on gender differences in ambiguity aversion. We conducted an investment game with two separate treatments. In the uncorrelated treatment, the outcomes of the investment game were determined individually. In the correlated treatment, the outcomes of the investment game were determined collectively within a reference group. From an evolutionary perspective, men should be more concerned about relative outcomes, because their reproductive success mainly depended on their relative standing within society. Women, by contrast, should be more concerned about absolute outcomes, because their reproductive success was mainly linked to their access to resources for themselves and their children. Therefore, we predict that the type of outcome correlation structure has a larger impact on men than on women. In particular, we hypothesize that men are less ambiguity averse under an uncorrelated outcome structure. In this situation, the ambiguous alternative should be more attractive, because it potentially reduces inequality and thereby improves men’s relative standing within society. Women’s choices should not be significantly affected by different outcome correlation structures. Both hypotheses are supported by evidence from laboratory experiments.
KeywordsAmbiguity aversion Gender differences Risk Outcome correlation Social comparison
- Banerjee, D. (2014). Ethnicity and gender differences in risk, ambiguity attitude. Working Paper. http://purl.umn.edu/180978. Accessed May 2016.
- Bateman, A. (1948). Intra-sexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity, 2, 349–368. doi: 10.1038/hdy.1948.21.
- Brunette, M., Cabantous, L., & Couture, S. (2010). Comparing group and individual choices under risk and ambiguity: an experimental study. Working Paper. ftp://ftp.repec.org/opt/ReDIF/RePEc/bbr/pdf/15.pdf. Accessed May 2016.
- Collard, F., Mukerji, S., Sheppard, K., & Tallon, J.-M. (2011). Ambiguity and the historical equity premium. Working Paper. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract id=1836297. Accessed May 2016.
- Daly, M., & Wilson, M. (2001). Risk-taking, intrasexual competition, and homicide. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 47, 1–36.Google Scholar
- Friedl, A., & Lima de Miranda, K., & Schmidt, U., (2013). Insurance demand and social comparison: An experimental analysis. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 48(2), 97–109. doi: 10.1007/s11166-014-9189-9.
- Keller, L. R., Sarin, R. K., & Sounderpandian, J. (2007). An examination of ambiguity aversion: Are two heads better than one? Judgment and Decision Making, 2(5), 390–397.Google Scholar
- Levati, M. V., Napel, S., & Soraperra, I. (2014). Collective choices under ambiguity. Working Paper. http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp 2014 019.pdf. Accessed May 2016.
- Muthukrishnan, A. V., Wathieu, L., & Xu, A. J. (2009). Ambiguity aversion and the preference for established brands. Management Science, 55(12), 1933–1941. doi: 10.1287/mnsc.1090.1087.
- Pulford, B. D., & Gill, P. (2014). Good luck, bad luck, and ambiguity aversion. Judgment and Decision Making, 9(2), 159–166.Google Scholar
- Schmidt, U., Friedl, A., & Lima de Miranda, K. (2015). Social comparison and gender differences in risk taking. Working Paper. https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/social-comparison-and-gender-differences-in-risk-taking/kwp-2011. Accessed May 2016.
- Schubert, R., Brown, M., Gysler, M., & Brachinger, H. W. (2000). Gender specific attitudes towards risk and ambiguity: An experimental investigation. Working Paper. https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/mtec/cer-eth/cer-eth-dam/documents/working-papers/wp0017.pdf. Accessed May 2016.
- Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man (pp. 136–179). Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330400226