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Journal Article

Citation

Lejarraga T, Frey R, Schnitzlein DD, Hertwig R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2019; 116(13): 6019-6024.

Affiliation

Center for Adaptive Rationality, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, 14195 Berlin, Germany.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, National Academy of Sciences)

DOI

10.1073/pnas.1814153116

PMID

30858316

Abstract

Does birth order shape people's propensity to take risks? Evidence is mixed. We used a three-pronged approach to investigate birth-order effects on risk taking. First, we examined the propensity to take risks as measured by a self-report questionnaire administered in the German Socio-Economic Panel, one of the largest and most comprehensive household surveys. Second, we drew on data from the Basel-Berlin Risk Study, one of the most exhaustive attempts to measure risk preference. This study administered 39 risk-taking measures, including a set of incentivized behavioral tasks. Finally, we considered the possibility that birth-order differences in risk taking are not reflected in survey responses and laboratory studies. We thus examined another source of behavioral data: the risky life decision to become an explorer or a revolutionary.

FINDINGS from these three qualitatively different sources of data and analytic methods point unanimously in the same direction: We found no birth-order effects on risk taking.


Language: en

Keywords

BBRS; SOEP; birth order; family dynamics; risk taking

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