Evidence of Lower Risk Tolerance Among Public Sector Employees in Their Personal Financial Matters

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 05/2009; 82(2):453 - 463. DOI: 10.1348/096317908X337725


Critics claim that excessive risk avoidance is characteristic of public sector workers. To test this contention, the financial risk tolerance scores of public sector and private sector employees who had used financial planning services were compared on a financial risk tolerance scale. Public sector employees scored lower on financial risk tolerance relative to private sector employees. Differences remained even after controlling for other variables linked to risk tolerance.

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Available from: Michael Roszkowski
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    • "They find that, thus defined, risk-averse people are more likely to be employed in the public sector than in the private sector. Likewise, Roszkowski and Grable (2009) use data on clients of financial planners who had completed a test of financial risk tolerance. They find that public sector employees score significantly lower than private sector employees, even after controlling for a rich set of observables. "
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