Anna Dreber Almenberg

PhD Stockholm School of Economics Social science Year of admission: 2013

Do sex hormones impact our economic decisions?
Anna Dreber Almenberg will conduct a series of experiments where she will investigate how various sex hormones affect decision-making. Can they make us take more risks, or become more self-sacrificing or competitive? She also will explore how human cooperation is influenced by different conditions.

Within economics, researchers previously focused mostly on how individuals behave, or how they should behave. Anna Dreber Almenberg, an assistant professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, will find out why we make certain choices. In an earlier study, she showed that men who win a competition by chance both get increased levels of testosterone and become more risk-taking. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, she will investigate what happens if men instead win a competition due to effort or skill, or what happens if they get a boost of testosterone. She also will explore how women’s decision-making can be affected by contraceptive pills or by congenital changes in hormone levels. Can sex hormones cause women to take more risks, or to become more self-sacrificing or more competitive?

In another part of the project, Almenberg will study how collaboration between individuals can develop and collapse, depending on what situations and possible options they face. The experiments will be conducted together with anthropologists, evolution biologists, geneticists, neurochemists and psychologists.