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Not-So-Strong Evidence For Gender Differences In Risk, Julie Nelson Jan 2013

Not-So-Strong Evidence For Gender Differences In Risk, Julie Nelson

Julie A. Nelson

In their article "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Gary Charness and Uri Gneezy (2012) review a number of experimental studies regarding investments in risky assets, and claim that these yield strong evidence that females are more risk averse than males. This study replicates and extends their article, demonstrating that its methods are highly problematic. While the methods used would be appropriate for categorical, individual-­‐level differences, the data reviewed are not consistent with such a model. Instead, modest differences (at most) exist only at aggregate levels, such as group means. The evidence in favor of gender difference ...


Portfolio Company Selection Criteria: Accelerators Vs Venture Capitalists, Cody Chang Jan 2013

Portfolio Company Selection Criteria: Accelerators Vs Venture Capitalists, Cody Chang

CMC Senior Theses

The explosive growth of ‘accelerators’ in the United States has given entrepreneurs and their startups the opportunity to pursue seed-stage financing. While the specific economic role of accelerators remains unclear, a study comparing the selection of portfolio companies between accelerators and venture capitalists was performed. A difference of means was performed on the responses per question between the collected 19 accelerators’ response and the 100 venture capitalists’ response, recorded from a prior study. It is found that venture capitalists place significantly more weight, than accelerators, on the potential of the startup’s product or service to be proprietary, to enter ...


The Power Of Stereotyping And Confirmation Bias To Overwhelm Accurate Assessment: The Case Of Economics, Gender, And Risk Aversion, Julie A. Nelson Dec 2012

The Power Of Stereotyping And Confirmation Bias To Overwhelm Accurate Assessment: The Case Of Economics, Gender, And Risk Aversion, Julie A. Nelson

Julie A. Nelson

Behavioral research has revealed how normal human cognitive processes can tend to lead us astray. But do these affect economic researchers, ourselves? This article explores the consequences of stereotyping and confirmation bias using a sample of published articles from the economics literature on gender and risk aversion. The results demonstrate that the supposedly “robust” claim that “women are more risk averse than men” is far less empirically supported than has been claimed. The questions of how these cognitive biases arise and why they have such power are discussed, and methodological practices that may help to attenuate these biases are outlined.