Sex hormones and economic decision making in the lab

A review of the causal evidence

Authored by: Anna Dreber , Magnus Johannesson

Routledge International Handbook of Social Neuroendocrinology

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138711440
eBook ISBN: 9781315200439
Adobe ISBN:


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There is increasing interest in the causal role of sex hormones in economic decision making in humans. Here we discuss the existing literature on sex hormone administration and economic games measuring social preferences, risk aversion and willingness to compete. Most studies fail to reject the null hypothesis of no effect. The few significant findings need to be interpreted cautiously due to lack of robustness in results across studies, limited sample sizes and researcher degrees of freedom. We also discuss potential ways forward for this literature.

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