The Impact of Risk Attitudes on Financial Investments
IWH Discussion Papers,
Several scholars analyze the relationship between individuals’ willingness to take risks and financial investment decisions. We add to this literature in using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel which allow ruling out that investments in risky assets itself impact on risk attitudes. We show that individuals with a higher willingness to take risks are more likely to hold bonds, stocks, and company assets. When grouping individuals into risk groups, our results reveal that high risk takers are also less likely to own a life insurance. If endogenous adaption of risk attitudes from holding assets in previous years is not taken into account, the impact of risk attitudes on holding risky assets is upward biased.
Entry into Entrepreneurship, Endogenous Adaption of Risk Attitudes and Entrepreneurial Survival
Empirical studies use the assumption of stability in individual risk attitudes when searching for a relationship between attitude to risk and the decision to become and survive as an entrepreneur. We show that risk attitudes do not remain stable but face endogenous adaption when starting a new business. This adaption is associated with entrepreneurial survival. The results show that entrepreneurs with low risk tolerance before entering self-employment and increased risk tolerance when self-employed have a higher probability of survival than similar entrepreneurs experiencing a decrease in the willingness to take risks. We find the opposite results for entrepreneurs who express a higher willingness to take risks before becoming self-employed: in this case, a decrease in tolerance of risk is correlated with an increasing survival probability.
On the Stability of Preferences: Repercussions of Entrepreneurship on Risk Attitudes
IWH Discussion Papers,
The majority of empirical studies make use of the assumption of stable preferences in searching for a relationship between risk attitude and the decision to become and stay an entrepreneur. Yet empirical evidence on this relationship is limited. In this paper, we show that entry into entrepreneurship itself plays a decisive role in shaping risk preferences. We find that becoming self-employed is indeed associated with a relative increase in risk attitudes, an increase that is quantitatively large and significant even after controlling for individual characteristics, different employment status, and duration of entrepreneurship. The findings suggest that studies assuming that risk attitudes are stable over time suffer from reverse causality; risk attitudes do not remain stable over time, and individual preferences change endogenously.
Competition, Risk-shifting, and Public Bail-out Policies
Review of Financial Studies,
This article empirically investigates the competitive effects of government bail-out policies. We construct a measure of bail-out perceptions by using rating information. From there, we construct the market shares of insured competitor banks for any given bank, and analyze the impact of this variable on banks' risk-taking behavior, using a large sample of banks from OECD countries. Our results suggest that government guarantees strongly increase the risk-taking of competitor banks. In contrast, there is no evidence that public guarantees increase the protected banks' risk-taking, except for banks that have outright public ownership. These results have important implications for the effects of the recent wave of bank bail-outs on banks' risk-taking behavior.