Based on panel data on around 5,500 German household heads originating from four years, this paper analyzes whether the experience of financial losses due to the Corona pandemic has affected three kinds of personal traits and preferences: the willingness to take risks, patience, and the locus of control. Our empirical results indicate that patience and the locus of control remain unchanged by the experience of pandemic-related financial losses, whereas we find a significantly negative effect of severe financial losses on risk taking, contrasting with the traditional assumption that such preferences are constant. In this respect, our heterogeneity analysis indicates that financial losses due to Corona particularly affect the most vulnerable households, notably low-income households and those with little income diversification.

Frondel, Manuel, Daniel Osberghaus and Stephan Sommer (2021), Corona and the Stability of Personal Traits and Preferences: Evidence From Germany, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 21-029, Mannheim. Download


Frondel, Manuel
Osberghaus, Daniel
Sommer, Stephan


Patience, risk aversion, locus of control