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The Role of Hormones in Financial Markets
Steroid hormones, such as testosterone, have been shown to affect risk preferences in financial traders with high levels leading to excessive risk-taking. Hormone levels, in turn, are affected by trading outcomes as well as by gender - males are more sensitive to stimuli than females. We develop a model to investigate the effects of hormones on financial market stability and trader performance. An increase in the proportion of female traders does not necessarily make markets less volatile; however, it reduces the occurrence of market crashes. Male traders on average under-perform females, although the best performing individuals are more likely to be male.