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The Visible Hand: Finger Ratio (2D:4D) and Competitive Behavior

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  • Matthew Pearson
  • Burkhard C. Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

In an experiment using two-bidder first-price sealed bid auctions with symmetric independent private values, we scan also the right hand of each subject. We study how the ratio of the length of the index and ring fingers (2D:4D) of the right hand, a measure of prenatal hormone exposure, is correlated with bidding behavior and total profits. 2D:4D has been reported to predict competitiveness in sports competition (Manning and Taylor, 2001, and Honekopp, Manning and Muller, 2006), risk aversion in an investment task (Dreber and Hoffman, 2007), and the average profitability of high-frequency traders in financial markets (Coates, Gurnell and Rustichini, 2009). We do not find any significant correlation between 2D:4D and both bidding or profits. Yet, our study raises an issue of ethnic differences with respect to 2D:4D.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 912.

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Length: 14
Date of creation: 12 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:09-12

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Related research

Keywords: Hormones; Digit ratio; 2D:4D; Risk behavior; Competition; Competitive behavior; Bidding; Endocrinological economics;

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References

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  1. Chen, Yan & Katuscak, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2007. "Sealed bid auctions with ambiguity: Theory and experiments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 513-535, September.
  2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Marco Casari & John C. Ham & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Selection bias, demographic effects, and ability effects in common value auction experiments," Staff Reports 213, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. 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.
  9. David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842, May.
  10. Ham, John C. & Kagel, John H., 2006. "Gender effects in private value auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 375-382, September.
  11. Zak, Paul J. & Stanton, Angela A. & Ahmadi, Sheila, 2007. "Oxytocin Increases Generosity in Humans," MPRA Paper 5650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Da Silva, Sergio & Baldo, Dinora & Matsushita, Raul, 2011. "Biological correlates of the Allais paradox - updated," MPRA Paper 32747, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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