This thesis examines the impact of gender differences in risk preferences relative to financial decisions. As did the majority of past research on this topic, the findings of this thesis support the argument that women are often more risk-averse than men. In order to demonstrate this phenomenon, a theoretical and empirical framework is employed to examine the impact that gender differences in risk preferences has on financial outcomes, specifically investment. The theoretical implications assert that certain social factors have a strong impact on the formation and persistence of risk preferences. In order to confirm the theoretical implications, an empirical analysis is used to support the hypothesis that women are more risk-averse than men. The empirical findings in this thesis indicate that while women are less confident than men when investing, financial education classes can be used as a tool to increase their confidence when investing. Both theory and the empirical results indicate that financial education classes can be used to mitigate gender differences in risk preferences, which, in effect, would create a more equitable foundation for men and women to feel more confident when making riskier financial decisions.


Mellizo, Philip




risk, gender, investment

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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