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Fund assortments, gender, and retirement plan participation

Maureen Morrin (Rutgers University School of Business, Camden, New Jersey, USA)
Susan Broniarczyk (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)
J. Jeffrey Inman (University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




This paper seeks to promote an understanding of gender effects on retirement plan participation as a function of fund assortment size.


A decision simulation was conducted among 349 US adults whose task was to invest in a hypothetical 401(k) retirement plan. The number of mutual funds offered for investment was varied and the effects on the incidence and extent of participation observed.


The results indicate that larger fund assortments tend to reduce participation among women, but increase it among men.

Research limitations/implications

Replication in other contexts and with other data sets would be worthwhile.

Practical implications

To enhance retirement plan adoption/participation, financial service firms may want to tailor such plans according to gender (and other consumer characteristics) according to the present set of findings.


First time authors are aware that the interaction between gender and assortment size is examined.



Morrin, M., Broniarczyk, S. and Jeffrey Inman, J. (2011), "Fund assortments, gender, and retirement plan participation", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 433-450.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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