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The Bull of Wall Street: Experimental Analysis of Testosterone and Asset Trading

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  • Peiran Jiao
  • Amos Nadler

Abstract

Abstract: Financial markets deviate from efficiency due to behavioral causes and there is growing evidence that biological factors affect individual financial decisions that could be reflected in markets. Many behavioral influences on asset prices have underlying biological mechanisms associated with fluctuations in the levels of the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone, a chemical messenger especially influential in male physiology, varies cyclically and in response to challenge, fluctuates according to victory and defeat, and is taken as a performance-enhancer among some financial professionals, yet no study has tested how it causally affects trading decisions. We exogenously elevated testosterone in traders in an experimental asset market and found that it causes significantly higher and longer-lasting asset overpricing compared to placebo. Using both aggregated and individual trading data we demonstrate that testosterone administration generates bubbles by causing persistently high bids and slow incorporation of asset fundamental value among traders.

Suggested Citation

  • Peiran Jiao & Amos Nadler, 2016. "The Bull of Wall Street: Experimental Analysis of Testosterone and Asset Trading," Economics Series Working Papers 806, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:806
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/14741/806-final.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Kocher, Martin G. & Lucks, Konstantin E. & Schindler, David, 2016. "Unleashing Animal Spirits - Self-Control and Overpricing in Experimental Asset Markets," Discussion Papers in Economics 27572, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Arbex, Marcelo & Carré, Justin M. & Geniole, Shawn N. & Mattos, Enlinson, 2018. "Tax evasion, testosterone and personality traits," Textos para discussão 466, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    3. Li, Jianbiao & Niu, Xiaofei & Li, Dahui & Cao, Qian, 2018. "Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Test the Role of Self-Control in Investor Behavior," EconStor Preprints 177890, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asset price bubbles; Experiment; Testosterone;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

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