2D:4D Does Not Predict Economic Preferences: Evidence from a Large, Representative Sample

69 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2020

See all articles by Levent Neyse

Levent Neyse

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Magnus Johannesson

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Anna Dreber

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 15, 2020

Abstract

The digit ratio (2D:4D) is considered a proxy for testosterone exposure in utero, and there has been a recent surge of studies testing whether 2D:4D is associated with economic preferences. Although the results are not conclusive, previous studies have reported statistically significant correlations between 2D:4D and risk taking, altruism, positive reciprocity, negative reciprocity and trust. Many “researcher degrees of freedom” and small sample sizes are important limitations of previous studies. We present results from a pre-registered large sample study testing if 2D:4D is associated with economic preferences. Data were collected in a representative sample of adults in the German Socioeconomic Panel-Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS), in a sample of about 3,450 respondents (about 5 times larger than the previously largest study in this field). We find no statistically significant association between 2D:4D and economic preferences in the largest study to this date on the topic.

Keywords: Economic Behavior, Prenatal Hormones, Testosterone, Digit Ratio

JEL Classification: D03, D87

Suggested Citation

Neyse, Levent and Johanneson, Magnus and Dreber, Anna, 2D:4D Does Not Predict Economic Preferences: Evidence from a Large, Representative Sample (April 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3576515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3576515

Levent Neyse

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Magnus Johanneson

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 736 9443 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hhs.se/Faculty/showperson.htm?personid=198

Anna Dreber (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

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