African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4188

Full Length Research Paper

Risk in financial decisions and gender differences

Montserrat Casanovas* and José M. Merigó
Department of Business Administration, University of Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 19 September 2011
  •  Published: 29 August 2012


This work focus on the study of gender differences in financial decision making. One of the main findings of this research is that women are more risk averse than men in various contexts of risk. However, some studies could not find strong evidence for this claim. This article analyses the main contributions to the understanding of gender differences in relation to financial risk. It then details the results of an experiment that measures financial risk aversion in terms of gender, as well as other variables such as age, background in finance and socioeconomic status. The results demonstrate that women are more risk averse. However, in the last portion of the experiment, in which participants make investment decisions about how to allocate a portfolio of financial products, gender does not explain risk aversion. Only in the purchase of shares of a solvent corporation are men more risk loving.


Key words: Aversion to financial risk, gender differences, time horizon, risk-return, portfolio of financial products.