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Menstrual Cycle and Competitive Bidding

  • Matthew Pearson
  • Burkhard Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

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 participants' 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, Katuscak, and Ozdenoren (2009).

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1110.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: 05 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:11-10
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  3. 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.
  4. Burkhard Schipper, 2014. "Sex hormones and choice under risk," Working Papers 147, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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  17. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "The Visible Hand: Finger ratio (2D:4D) and competitive behavior," MPRA Paper 16785, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. 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.
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