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.