Menstrual Cycle and Competitive Bidding

38 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2009 Last revised: 6 Jul 2012

See all articles by Matthew Pearson

Matthew Pearson

Department of Economics

Burkhard C. Schipper

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 5, 2012

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 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 (2012).

Keywords: Hormones, Menstrual cycle, Gender, Likelihood of conception, First price auction, Risk behavior, Competition, Bidding, Endocrinological economics

JEL Classification: C72, C91, C92, D44, D81, D87

Suggested Citation

Pearson, Matthew and Schipper, Burkhard C., Menstrual Cycle and Competitive Bidding (July 5, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1441665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1441665

Matthew Pearson

Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Burkhard C. Schipper (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-6142 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/schipper/

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