Monday, December 19, 2016

Risk taking

A few days ago I saw this research, Hubris and Humility: Gender Differences in Serial Founding Rates by Venkat Kuppuswamy and Ethan R. Mollick. Both from prestigious research universities. From the abstract:
Men are far more likely to start new ventures than women. Drawing on the hubris theory of entrepreneurship, we argue that one explanation of this gap is that women have lower susceptibility to hubris and higher levels of humility, the “male hubris-female humility effect.” Decreased hubris suggests that women faced with low-quality founding opportunities are less likely to engage in entrepreneurship than men. Increased humility implies that women will also make fewer founding attempts than men when opportunity quality is high. Using a data set of serial founders in crowdfunding, we find evidence of both hubris and humility effects decreasing female founding attempts relative to men. While decreased hubris benefits women individually, we argue that it disadvantages women as a group, as it leads to by 23.2% fewer female-led foundings in our sample than would have occurred if women were as immodest and overconfident as men.
Interesting but, without digging through the research methodology, it seemed weak.

That opinion is unchanged but their work seems oddly consistent with this tweet I just saw.

Data, data, everywhere. Well, not data but evidence of one sort or another. The underlying theme is that males take more risks and, good or bad; for themselves or others, that leads to disparate outcomes.

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