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Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding

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  • Pearson, Matthew
  • Schipper, Burkhard C.

Abstract

In an experiment using two-bidder first-price sealed-bid auctions with symmetric independent private values and 400 participants, we collected information on the female participantsʼ menstrual cycles and the use of hormonal contraceptives. We find that naturally cycling women bid significantly higher than men and earn significantly lower profits than men except during the midcycle when fecundity is highest. We suggest an evolutionary hypothesis according to which women are predisposed by hormones to generally behave more riskily during their fecund phase of their menstrual cycle in order to increase the probability of conception, quality of offspring, and genetic variety. We also find that women on hormonal contraceptives bid significantly higher and earn substantially lower profits than men. This may be due to progestins contained in hormonal contraceptives or a selection effect. We discuss how our study differs from Chen et al. (2013).

Suggested Citation

  • Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2013. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:78:y:2013:i:c:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2012.10.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hormones; Menstrual cycle; Gender; Fecundity; Contraceptives; Pill; First-price auction; Risk behavior; Competition; Bidding; Endocrinological economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

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