2d:4d and Self-Employment Using SOEP Data: A Replication Study

50 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020

See all articles by Frank M. Fossen

Frank M. Fossen

University of Nevada, Reno; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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Abstract

The 2D:4D digit ratio, the ratio of the length of the 2nd digit to the length of the 4th digit, is often considered a proxy for testosterone exposure in utero. A recent study by Nicolaou et al. (2018) reported an association between the lefthand 2D:4D and self-employment (in a sample of about 1,000 adults). In this preregistered study we replicate these results on a new and larger sample of about 2,600 adults from the German Socioeconomic Panel-Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS). We find no statistically significant associations between 2D:4D and self-employment and thus cannot confirm the findings of Nicolaou et al. (2018) for left-hand 2D:4D. Our estimated 99.5% confidence intervals are within an about 2 percentage points change in self-employment for a one standard deviation change in the 2D:4D when we pool results for men and women (the association does not differ significantly between men and women). Even larger studies are needed to rule out smaller effect sizes.

Keywords: hormones, entrepreneurship, self-employment, testosterone, digit ratio

JEL Classification: J23, L26

Suggested Citation

Fossen, Frank M. and Neyse, Levent and Johannesson, Magnus and Dreber, Anna, 2d:4d and Self-Employment Using SOEP Data: A Replication Study. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13180, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3590878

Frank M. Fossen (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Reno ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Levent Neyse

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

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Magnus Johannesson

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

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

Anna Dreber

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

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

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