Deal or No Deal: Hormones and the Mergers and Acquisitions Game
46 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2009 Last revised: 17 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 2010
Young male CEOs appear to be combative: they are 4% more likely to be acquisitive and, having initiated an acquisition, they are over 20% more likely to withdraw an offer. Furthermore, a young target male CEO is 2% more likely to force a bidder to resort to a tender offer. We argue that this combative nature is a result of testosterone levels that are higher in young males. Testosterone, a hormone associated with male dominance seeking, has been shown to inﬂuence prospects for a cooperative outcome of the ultimatum game. Speciﬁcally, high-testosterone responders tend to reject low offers even though this is against their interest. It has been argued that this is consistent with a low offer being seen as dominance seeking. The acts of attempting or resisting an acquisition can be viewed as striving to achieve dominance. We argue that the evidence reported in this paper is consistent with the presence of a signiﬁcant hormone effect in mergers and acquisitions.
Keywords: mergers and acquisitions, male dominance seeking, CEO testosterone, bid initiation, bid withdrawal, tender offers
JEL Classification: G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation