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Sex-hormone genes and gender difference in ultimatum game: Experimental evidence from China and Israel

Soo Hong Chew (), Richard P. Ebstein and Songfa Zhong

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2013, vol. 90, issue C, 28-42

Abstract: Combining the methodologies of experimental economics and molecular genetics, we report a genetic association between sex-hormone genes and ultimatum game (UG) behavior in a discovery sample from China and a replication sample from Israel. The androgen receptor gene is found to be associated with UG responder behavior for male but not female subjects in the Chinese population, but this finding is not replicated in the Israeli sample. The estrogen receptor β gene is significantly associated with female UG responder behavior but not for male subjects in the Chinese sample. This finding is marginally replicated in the Israeli sample. Overall, our findings provide suggestive evidence on a gender specific relationship between sex-hormone genes and UG responder behavior, and can contribute to a deeper understanding of gender differences in fairness preference at the level of molecular genetics.

Keywords: Ultimatum game; Gender difference; Sex hormone; Genetics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D14 D81 D87 G11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.03.008

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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