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The impact of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on competitiveness

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  • Buser, Thomas

Abstract

We examine whether competitiveness in women is influenced by biological factors. Female participants in a laboratory experiment solve a simple arithmetics task first under a piece rate and then under a competitive tournament scheme. Participants can then choose which compensation scheme to apply in a third round. We find that the likelihood of selecting into the competitive environment varies strongly and significantly over the menstrual cycle and with the intake of hormonal contraceptives. The observed patterns are consistent with a negative impact of the sex hormone progesterone on competitiveness. We show that the effect of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on competitiveness is due neither to an impact on performance, nor to an impact on risk aversion or overconfidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 83 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-10

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:1-10

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Competitiveness; Risk preferences; Progesterone; Oestrogen; Endocrinological economics;

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References

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  1. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin Hallock, 1999. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," Working Papers 805, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  7. Wozniak, David, 2009. "Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback," MPRA Paper 21097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  9. Fehr, Ernst, 2008. "On the Economics and Biology of Trust," IZA Discussion Papers 3895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  14. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  15. Chen, Yan & Katuščák, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2013. "Why canʼt a woman bid more like a man?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 181-213.
  16. Zak, Paul J. & Stanton, Angela A. & Ahmadi, Sheila, 2007. "Oxytocin Increases Generosity in Humans," MPRA Paper 5650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Thomas Buser, 2011. "Hormones and Social Preferences," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-046/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  18. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2012. "Do risk and time preferences have biological roots?," MPRA Paper 37320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2011. "Gender and Competition in Adolescence: Task Matter," Research Papers in Economics 2011:14, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 08 Mar 2013.
  4. Buser, Thomas, 2012. "Digit ratios, the menstrual cycle and social preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 457-470.
  5. Matthew Pearson & Burkhard C. Schipper, 2009. "Menstrual Cycle and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 911, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Choice under Risk," Working Papers 127, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  7. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2014. "Gender differences in competition and sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 64-80.
  8. Werner Bönte & Monika Piegeler, 2013. "Gender gap in latent and nascent entrepreneurship: driven by competitiveness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 961-987, December.
  9. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2012. "Gender, Competitiveness and Career Choices," NBER Working Papers 18576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hiroko Okudaira & Yusuke Kinari & Noriko Mizutani & Fumio Ohtake & Akira Kawaguchi, 2014. "Older Sisters and Younger Brothers: The Impact of Siblings on Preference for Competition," ISER Discussion Paper 0896, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  11. Thomas Buser, 2014. "The Impact of Losing in a Competition on the Willingness to seek Further Challenges," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-083/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Yan Chen & Peter Katuscak & Emre Ozdenoren, 2005. "Why Can’t a Woman Bid More Like a Man?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp275, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  13. Vanessa Mertins & Andrea B. Schote & Jobst Meyer, 2013. "Variants of the Monoamine Oxidase A Gene (MAOA) Predict Free-riding Behavior in Women in a Strategic Public Goods Experiment," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201302, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  14. Werner Boente & Monika Jarosch, 2011. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness, Risk Tolerance, and other Personality Traits: Do they contribute to the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship?," Schumpeter Discussion Papers sdp11012, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  15. Samak, Anya C., 2013. "Is there a gender gap in preschoolers’ competitiveness? An experiment in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 22-31.

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