Gender risk-aversion, using data from chess

Dan Houser sends me a link to this paper, by Christer Gerdes and Patrik Gränsmark:

This paper aims to measure differences in risk behavior among expert chess players. The study employs a panel data set on international chess with 1.4 million games recorded over a period of 11 years. The structure of the data set allows us to use individual fixed-effect estimations to control for aspects such as innate ability as well as other characteristics of the players. Most notably, the data contains an objective measure of individual playing strength, the so-called Elo rating. In line with previous research, we find that women are more risk-averse than men. A novel finding is that males choose more aggressive strategies when playing against female opponents even though such strategies reduce their winning probability.

I am pleased to see that studying chess data is suddenly a "trendy" way to do behavioral economics.  Admittedly one is dealing with an unusual group of subjects.  Yet the quality of the data is high and the stakes are usually high too.  Computers can be used to judge the quality of moves.


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