22 Citations (Scopus)


Spousal correlation in risk attitude is estimated using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel over the period 2004–2009. We apply the bivariate panel
ordered probit model to the analysis of the simultaneous determination of the male’s and the female’s risk attitude, using the survey question about general willingness to take risk, provided on a 0–10 Likert-scale. The correlations between both the individual-specific effects of the two partners and the two within-individual errors are separately estimated, and found to be +0.285 and +0.310, respectively. We consider the former to be a key parameter, since its positive sign may be interpreted in terms of positive assortative mating on risk attitude: individuals tend to form partnerships with others having a similar risk attitude. We also find evidence that this correlation increases with years of marriage, suggesting either a form of spousal socialization or a selection process in which marriage breakdown is more likely in poorly matched couples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-401
Number of pages13
JournalTheory and Decision
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Multiple equation models
  • Ordinal data
  • Panel data
  • Risk attitude
  • Assortative mating
  • Spousal correlation
  • Homophily

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