The Effects of Prenatal Testosterone on Adult Wages: Evidence from Russian RLMS Data and Measured 2D:4D Digit Ratios

20 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2014 Last revised: 22 Nov 2014

See all articles by John V. Nye

John V. Nye

George Mason University - Department of Economics; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Maria Yudkevich

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Ekaterina Orel

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Ekaterina Kochergina

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: September 2014

Abstract

There is now a large literature on the correlates of prenatal androgen exposure and various individual measures of performance in sports, business, or schooling. However, there is still relatively limited evidence of the impact of prenatal androgens on life achievement. Using data from the Russian longitudinal survey and measured digit ratios, we found that age-corrected market wages are nonlinearly correlated with low measured 2D:4D ratios signifying higher prenatal testosterone. Unlike earlier work on noncognitive correlates of labor market wages, our findings indicate a clear-cut optimum 2D:4D ratio for women’s wages with higher and lower 2D:4D being associated with lowered wages. However, the size of these effects is small, especially compared to the influence of education on income.

Keywords: Adult wages, Prenatal Testosterone, Female earnings

JEL Classification: J24, J31

Suggested Citation

Nye, John V. C. and Yudkevich, Maria and Orel, Ekaterina and Kochergina, Ekaterina, The Effects of Prenatal Testosterone on Adult Wages: Evidence from Russian RLMS Data and Measured 2D:4D Digit Ratios (September 2014). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 71/EC/2014 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2521402 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2521402

John V. C. Nye

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-4272 (Phone)

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Maria Yudkevich

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Ekaterina Orel

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Ekaterina Kochergina (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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