Testosterone and Repression in Non‐Democracies: Evidence from a Sample of Russian Governors

35 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2018

See all articles by Vladimir Kozlov

Vladimir Kozlov

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Alexander Libman

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

André Schultz

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

The paper examines the role of testosterone‐driven aggressive behavior in the politics of non‐democratic regimes and, in particular, its influence on the extent of repressiveness of these regimes. To measure testosterone exposure, we apply the facial width‐to‐height metric (fWHR) – a standard proxy widely used in the psychological literature – and look at a sample of Russian regional governors. We find a positive relationship between the fWHR of the governor and the level of repression in his region. Testosterone‐related behavior is, however, more widespread among younger governors and among governors with shorter tenure in office. Thus, the paper contributes to the recent trend of integrating insights of behavioral economics in political economics research.

Suggested Citation

Kozlov, Vladimir and Libman, Alexander and Schultz, André, Testosterone and Repression in Non‐Democracies: Evidence from a Sample of Russian Governors (May 2018). Kyklos, Vol. 71, Issue 2, pp. 244-278, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3166349 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12169

Vladimir Kozlov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Alexander Libman

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt, 60322
Germany

André Schultz

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt am Main, 60322
Germany

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