Coates, John M., Mark Gurnell and Aldo Rustichini (2009) Second-to-fourth digit ratio predicts success among high-frequency financial traders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 106/2: 623-8.
What does traders’ success on the market floor depend on? Earlier studies have shown that one’s level of testosterone did affect one’s daily results. Since “prenatal androgens have organizing effects on the developing brain, increasing its later sensitivity to […] testosterone”, it would make sense that prenatal androgens also have a structural effect on a trader’s results on the long term.A surrogate marker is commonly used to define one’s exposure to prenatal androgens: the second-to-fourth digit length ratio, noted 2D:4D. Such market has been found to predict professional athletes’ performance. In this paper, the autors test the hypothesis that a high exposure to prenatal androgens as indicated by 2D:4D would also predict traders’ long-term profit.