nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2012‒05‒08
four papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding By Schipper, Burkhard C.
  2. Sex Hormones and Choice under Risk By Schipper, Burkhard C.
  3. Becker Meets Ricardo: Multisector Matching with Social and Cognitive Skills By Robert J. McCann; Xianwen Shi; Aloysius Siow; Ronald Wolthoff
  4. Social preferences are stable over long periods of time By Carlsson, Fredrik; Johansson-Stenman, Olof; Pham, Khanh Nam

  1. By: Schipper, Burkhard C. (University CA, Davis)
    Abstract: We correlate competitive bidding and profits in symmetric independent private value first-price auctions with salivary testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and cortisol in more than 200 subjects. Females bid significantly higher and earn significantly lower profits than males. Moreover, females on hormonal contraceptives bid significantly higher and earn significantly lower profits than males. Bids are significantly positively correlated and profits are significantly negatively correlated with salivary progesterone when controlling for gender, the use of hormonal contraceptives, and demographics. This also applies to the female but not to the male subsamples separately. It especially applies to naturally cycling females not using hormonal contraceptives and to females in the luteal phase of their natural menstrual cycle when progesterone usually peaks. Surprisingly, we have null findings for testosterone as well as estradiol and cortisol. Controlling for risk aversion does not diminish our positive finding for progesterone. Yet, we show that our finding may be due to subjects with imprudent bidding behavior (i.e., weakly dominated bids).
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D44 D81 D87
    Date: 2012–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:ucdeco:2012-08&r=neu
  2. By: Schipper, Burkhard C. (University CA, Davis)
    Abstract: We correlate choice under risk in Holt-Laury lottery tasks for gains and losses with salivary testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and cortisol, the use of hormonal contraceptives, menstrual cycle information as well as the digit ratio (2D:4D) in more than 200 subjects. Risk aversion is negatively correlated with testosterone and positively correlated with cortisol, a stress hormone, for gains only. In males, testosterone is negatively correlated with risk aversion for gains only. In females, cortisol is marginally significantly positively correlated with risk aversion for gains only. No other significant correlations between risk aversion and salivary hormones are observed. In females, testosterone and progesterone are positively correlated with reflection, i.e., risk aversion for gains and risk seeking for losses. Testosterone is negatively correlated with "consistency" of preferences in females, while estradiol is negatively correlated with "consistency" of preferences in males. No significant correlations between risk aversion and the menstrual cycle or the digit ratio are observed. Females on hormonal contraceptives are more likely to make "consistent" choices although this may be due to a selection effect. Risk aversion is positively correlated with being female for losses only. Yet, if we control for salivary hormones we are surprised to find a negative correlation between female and risk aversion for gains.
    JEL: C91 C92 D44 D81 D87
    Date: 2012–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:ucdeco:2012-07&r=neu
  3. By: Robert J. McCann; Xianwen Shi; Aloysius Siow; Ronald Wolthoff
    Abstract: This paper presents a tractable framework for studying frictionless matching in school, work, and marriage when individuals have heterogeneous social and cognitive skills. In the model, there are gains to specialization and team production, but specialization requires communication and coordination between team members, and individuals with more social skills communicate and coordinate at lower resource cost. The theory delivers full task specialization in the labor and education markets, but incomplete specialization in marriage. It also captures well-known matching patterns in each of these sectors, including the commonly observed many-to-one matches in firms and schools. Equilibrium is equivalent to the solution of an utilitarian social planner solving a linear programming problem.
    Keywords: Matching, Specialization, Comparative Advantage, Span of Control, Education, Marriage
    JEL: C78 J24 J31 D50
    Date: 2012–04–30
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-454&r=neu
  4. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Johansson-Stenman, Olof (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Pham, Khanh Nam (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: We measure people’s prosocial behavior, in terms of voluntary money and labor time contributions to an archetypical public good, a bridge, and in terms of voluntary money contributions in a public good game, using the same non-student sample in rural Vietnam at four different points in time from 2005 to 2011. Two of the experiments are natural experiment, one is a field experiment and one is a public good experiment. Since the experiments were conducted far apart in time, the potentially confounding effects of moral licensing and moral cleansing are presumably small, if existing at all. Despite large contextual variations, we find a strong positive and statistically significant correlation between voluntary contributions in these experiments, whether correcting for other covariates or not. This suggests that pro-social preferences are fairly stable over long periods of time and contexts.<p>
    Keywords: natural field experiment; preference stability; social preferences; moral licensing; moral cleansing.
    JEL: C93 H41
    Date: 2012–04–30
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0531&r=neu

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