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Sex hormones and choice under risk

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  • Burkhard Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

We study the correlation of choice under risk in Holt-Laury lotteries for gains and losses with gender, the use of hormonal contraceptives, menstrual cycle information, salivary testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and cortisol as well as the digit ratio (2D:4D) in more than 200 subjects. In males, salivary testosterone is negatively correlated with risk aversion for gains only. In females, salivary cortisol is positively correlated with risk aversion for gains only. No other significant correlations between risk preferences and salivary hormones are observed. No significant correlations between risk preferences and the menstrual cycle are observed in naturally cycling females. No significant correlations between risk preferences and the digit ratio are observed in either gender and/or race. Females who use hormonal contraceptives are more likely to make ``consistent'' choices although this may be due to a selection effect. Risk aversion is positively correlated with being female for losses only.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 147.

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Length: 65
Date of creation: 06 Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:14-7

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Keywords: Hormones; Menstrual cycle; Contraception; Digit ratio; 2D:4D; Gender; Endocrinological economics; Holt-Laury; Risk aversion; Risk seeking; Reflection effect; Prospect theory;

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  1. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  2. Matthew Pearson & Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Menstrual Cycle and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 1110, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2010. "Are risk aversion and impatience related to cognitive ability?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20063, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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  6. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  7. 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.
  8. Mariesa A. Herrmann & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "Does Menstruation Explain Gender Gaps in Work Absenteeism?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 493-508.
  9. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "The Evolution of Attitudes to Risk: Lottery Tickets and Relative Wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 190-207, June.
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  14. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  15. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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  19. Gneezy, Uri & Potters, Jan, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-45, May.
  20. 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.
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  22. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Enrique Turiegano, 2009. "Testosterone, Facial Symmetry and Cooperation in the Prisoners’ Dilemma," ESE Discussion Papers 192, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  23. Ellen Garbarino & Robert Slonim & Justin Sydnor, 2011. "Digit ratios (2D:4D) as predictors of risky decision making for both sexes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-26, February.
  24. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2007. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1407-1418, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Matthew Pearson & Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "The visible hand: finger ratio (2D:4D) and competitive bidding," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 510-529, September.
  3. Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2012. "Do risk and time preferences have biological roots?," MPRA Paper 37320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Burkhard Schipper, 2014. "Sex hormones and competitive bidding," Working Papers 144, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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