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Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding

  • Pearson, Matthew
  • Schipper, Burkhard C.

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).

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 78 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:78:y:2013:i:c:p:1-20
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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  18. repec:dgr:uvatin:20090082 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Morgan John & Steiglitz Ken & Reis George, 2003. "The Spite Motive and Equilibrium Behavior in Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-27, April.
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  28. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  29. Buser, Thomas, 2012. "The impact of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on competitiveness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-10.
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