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Early Life Conditions and Financial Risk-taking in Older Age

Young family walking along the beach

Loretti Dobrescu, Dimitris Christelis, Alberto Motta

Using life-history survey data from eleven European countries, we investigate whether childhood conditions, such as socioeconomic status, cognitive abilities and health problems influence portfolio choice and risk attitudes later in life.

After controlling for the corresponding conditions in adulthood, we find that superior cognitive skills in childhood (especially mathematical abilities) are positively associated with stock and mutual fund ownership.

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