Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra CAssar


Present literature shows that the risk tolerance of females is generally lower than that of males, but in some circumstances, it can exceed – when concerning the welfare of the offspring, for example. Many experiments and data suggest that the dynamics of female risk tolerance depend on context and type of rewards involved as well as cultural norms. In our experiment, holding the culture and the context fixed, we found that females took less risk than males. Our experiment was conducted in Myanmar using a lottery selection method to measure risk over five consecutive rounds. We found 1) female risk aversion was significant when the rewards were gift-cards and school supplies, but not for cash 2) over five rounds, adult females were most risk averse, and 3) winning a previous round decreased everyone’s risk tolerance slightly. Our results conform with the literature that the gender gap in risk preference is sometimes eliminated. However, that may be due to decreased risk tolerance from the males rather than decreased risk aversion of the females.


Upon request, data and STATA files are available for replication. You may contact the author with any questions or comments.