Financial risk‐taking on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”: A comparison between Austria, Germany, and Slovenia

Fedor Daghofer
Published Online:
14 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 42 Issue 5

Additional Options

The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of gender, age, education, and stake on financial risk‐taking in contestants on the television game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” According to the existing literature on the impact of demographic parameters on financial risk‐taking, it was expected that women should take less risks than men in the low‐stake condition of the game, older contestants should take less risks than their younger counterparts, and contestants with an academic degree should take more risks than contestants without an academic degree. It was also expected that the tendency towards voluntarily quitting the game should increase with increasing stake. In order to test the generality of the obtained results, the study was conducted in three European countries: Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The total sample comprised 416 Austrian, 331 German, and 199 Slovenian contestants on the television game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” By means of meta‐analyses it was found that the most important predictor of voluntarily quitting the game was the stake, indicating that the tendency towards quitting the game voluntarily increased with increasing stake, and that in the low‐stake condition women were less inclined to take risks than men. No statistically significant impact of age and academic degree on financial risk‐taking was found. It was also found that older contestants received higher cash pay‐offs, compared to their younger counterparts. The findings accentuate the importance of comparing data from different countries for a better understanding of the sometimes varying results on financial risk‐taking.

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