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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. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On the economics and biology of trust," IEW - Working Papers 399, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  4. 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.
  5. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2005. "Male and Female Competitive Behavior - Experimental Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00180022, HAL.
  6. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011046 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2013. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-20.
  8. Thomas Buser, 2011. "Hormones and Social Preferences," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-046/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, 09.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin Hallock, 1999. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," Working Papers 805, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  15. Zak, Paul J. & Stanton, Angela A. & Ahmadi, Sheila, 2007. "Oxytocin Increases Generosity in Humans," MPRA Paper 5650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Powell, Melanie & Ansic, David, 1997. "Gender differences in risk behaviour in financial decision-making: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 605-628, November.
  17. 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.
  18. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Thomas Buser, 2011. "Hormones and Social Preferences," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-046/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Choice under Risk," Working Papers 127, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2013. "Gender Differences in Competition and Sabotage," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79750, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2012. "Do risk and time preferences have biological roots?," MPRA Paper 37320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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. 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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