Economics at your fingertips  

Decision-making, financial risk aversion, and behavioral biases: The role of testosterone and stress

John R. Nofsinger, Fernando M. Patterson and Corey Shank ()

Economics & Human Biology, 2018, vol. 29, issue C, 1-16

Abstract: We examine the relation between testosterone, cortisol, and financial decisions in a sample of naïve investors. We find that testosterone level is positively related to excess risk-taking, whereas cortisol level is negatively related to excess risk-taking (correlation coefficient [r]: 0.75 and −0.21, respectively). Additionally, we find support for the dual-hormone hypothesis in a financial context. Specifically, the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio is significantly related to loss aversion. Individuals with a higher ratio are 3.4 times more likely to sell losing stocks (standard error [SE]: 1.63). Furthermore, we find a positive feedback loop between financial success, testosterone, and cortisol. Specifically, financial success is significantly related to higher post-trial testosterone and cortisol by a factor of 0.53 (SE: 0.14). Finally, we find that in a competitive environment, testosterone level increases significantly, leading to greater risk-taking than in noncompetitive environment. Overall, this study underscores the importance of the endocrine system on financial decision-making. The results of this study are relevant to a broad audience, including investors looking to optimize financial performance, industry human resources, market regulators, and researchers.

Keywords: Testosterone; Cortisol; Stress; Risk aversion; Disposition effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 G11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Economics & Human Biology is currently edited by J. Komlos, Inas R Kelly and Joerg Baten

More articles in Economics & Human Biology from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

Page updated 2019-07-22
Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:1-16