Gender differences in the stability of trust and risk-taking

Doron Sonsino, Max Shifrin, Eyal Lahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The individual willingness to trust is compared to the inclination to take lottery risk in six distinct scenarios, controlling the return distributions. Trust responds to changes in the admissible return levels, but exhibits significantly smaller responsiveness to return expectations compared to parallel risk-taking. Paired comparisons suggest that the investors sacrifice 5% of the expected payoff to trust anonymous responders. Trust is more calculated and volatile for males, while appearing relatively stable for females. The results connect with evidence regarding physiological differences between trust and risk-taking, and in addition suggest that trust is more of a distinctive trait for females compared to males. The paper broadly discusses the results and their implications, connecting to diverse streams in the trust literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-251
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Trust Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The experiment discussed in the paper was presented at the 2015 Social and Biological Roots of Cooperation and Risk-Taking (SBRCR) workshop in Kiel, Germany; the 2015 European meetings of the Economic Science Association in Heidelberg, Germany; and the 2016 International Economic Science Association meetings in Jerusalem, Israel. We have benefited from comments and conversations with Jason Aimone, Steven Bosworth, Eyal Ert, Amir Levkowitz, Tommaso Reggiani and Eyal Weinstock. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the editor Guido Möllering for constructive feedbacks and suggestions. We thank the research authority at COMAS for funding the experiment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Peter Ping Li.


  • Trust
  • gender
  • risk


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