This study experimentally tests the gender-specific effect of risky environments on subsequent risk taking. Many decisions take place in the presence of unrealized risk, frequent income fluctuations and realizations of risk, but the effect of these factors is poorly understood. This study finds stark differences in how females and males take risks in response to these stimuli.

  • Females increase risk taking after an increase in income and in the presence of a positive-outcome unrealized risk, but there are no such effects for males.
  • Males increase risk taking after winning a lottery, while females do not.


van Geen, Alexandra. “Risk in the Background: How Men and Women Respond”. 2013. Web.