Discussion paper

DP8868 Salience, Risky Choices and Gender

Risk theories typically assume individuals make risky choices using probability weights that differ from objective probabilities. Recent theories suggest that probability weights vary depending on which portion of a risky environment is made salient. Using experimental data we show that salience affects young men and women differently, even after controlling for cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Men are significantly more likely than women to switch from a certain to a risky choice once the upside of winning is made salient, even though the expected value of the choice remains the same.


Booth, A and P Nolen (2012), ‘DP8868 Salience, Risky Choices and Gender‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 8868. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp8868