Bridge over ocean
1 July 2007 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 63, Issue 4

Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Expected Retirement Benefits

  1. John G. Watson
  2. Mark McNaughton

Women are generally considered more risk averse than men. Controlling for age, income, and education, this study examined the impact of gender on the superannuation (retirement) fund risk preferences of staff in the Australian university sector. The findings suggest that women choose more conservative investment strategies than men and that lower income (which affects the amount members contribute to their superannuation funds) is the primary contributor to the lower projected retirement benefits of women. Providing members with a choice among risk levels in their retirement investments should significantly benefit male and female retirees.

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