Using a controlled experiment, we investigate if individuals’ risk preferences are affected by:
1- The gender composition of the group to which they are randomly assigned.
2- The gender mix of the school they attend.
Our subjects, from eight publicly funded single-sex and coeducational schools, were asked to choose between a real-stakes lottery and a sure bet.
We found that girls in an all-girls group or attending a single-sex school were more likely than their coed counterparts to choose a real-stakes gamble. This suggests that observed gender differences in behaviour under uncertainty found in previous studies might reflect social learning rather than inherent gender traits.