This study investigates whether (lack of) familiarity with the language of investor communication may contribute to an explanation of the well-documented gender gap in financial decision-making (i.e. women are more risk averse than men) and financial literacy (i.e. women are less literate than men). Using an interdisciplinary framework that combines insights from Behavioral Economics, Finance and Linguistics, we analyze metaphors used in websites that target beginning retail investors in three different languages: Dutch, Italian and English. Employing the conceptual metaphor analysis proposed by Cameron and Low (1999) and Charteris-Black (2004), we find that in all three languages the metaphors come from the same conceptual domains; namely, war, health, physical activity, game, farming and the five senses. As these domains refer to worlds that are predominantly and (stereo)typically masculine, we conclude that the language of investor communication may give rise to feelings of familiarity and belonging among men while creating feelings of distance and non-belonging among women. Based on our findings, we conclude that further research is needed to assess whether language could be a tool to reduce the gender gap in financial attitudes and behavior.

Seven Ways to Knit Your Portfolio: Is the Language of Investor Communication Gender Neutral?

BOGGIO, Cecilia;FORNERO, Elsa;
2018

Abstract

This study investigates whether (lack of) familiarity with the language of investor communication may contribute to an explanation of the well-documented gender gap in financial decision-making (i.e. women are more risk averse than men) and financial literacy (i.e. women are less literate than men). Using an interdisciplinary framework that combines insights from Behavioral Economics, Finance and Linguistics, we analyze metaphors used in websites that target beginning retail investors in three different languages: Dutch, Italian and English. Employing the conceptual metaphor analysis proposed by Cameron and Low (1999) and Charteris-Black (2004), we find that in all three languages the metaphors come from the same conceptual domains; namely, war, health, physical activity, game, farming and the five senses. As these domains refer to worlds that are predominantly and (stereo)typically masculine, we conclude that the language of investor communication may give rise to feelings of familiarity and belonging among men while creating feelings of distance and non-belonging among women. Based on our findings, we conclude that further research is needed to assess whether language could be a tool to reduce the gender gap in financial attitudes and behavior.
Specialized and Professional Discourse Across Media and Genres
Ledizioni
137
160
978-88-6705-655-2
financial communication, conceptual metaphor theory, critical discourse analysis, gender gap, familiarity
Boggio, Cecilia; Fornero, Elsa; Prast, Henriëtte; Sanders, José
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1658422
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