Date of Graduation

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Economics

First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar

Abstract

While literature shows that female risk tolerance is generally lower than males, it can also be the same as that of males under different contexts and types of rewards. We conducted an experiment in Myanmar using a lottery selection method to measure risk over five consecutive and paid rounds. We find 1) female risk aversion is significant for gift-card and school supplies, but not for cash 2) over five rounds, adult female behavior is most distinct from other groups, and 3) winning previous round decreases everyone’s risk tolerance slightly. Our results conform with the literature that gender gap in risk preference is sometimes eliminated. In our data, that may be due to the lower risk tolerance from the males rather than decreased risk aversion of the females. We also report three supplementary results: behavior of our subjects is inconsistent with the maximization of expected utility theorem, accuracy of self-reported behavior on survey, and the lack of gender difference in an arithmetic task.

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