Gender differences in optimism and asset allocation

Ben Jacobsen, John B. Lee, Wessel Marquering, Cherry Y. Zhang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate two alternative explanations why men may hold more stocks than women do. Apart from the traditional explanation of a gender difference in risk aversion, gender differences in either optimism or in perceived risk of financial markets might cause men to hold riskier assets. Our results show that men tend to be significantly more optimistic than women regarding a broad range of issues, including the economy and financial markets. After we take differences in optimism into account, systematic gender differences in asset allocations disappear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-651
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Asset allocation
  • Consumer confidence
  • Economic indicators
  • Gender difference
  • Optimism
  • Risk aversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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