Does Biological Endowment Matter for Demand for Financial Services? Evidence from Russia

Irina Andrievskaya (None)
Maria Semenova (CInSt, HSE, Moscow)

Abstract: There are many studies revealing factors which influence the demand for financial services. However genetic features, determining the individual’s overall postnatal behaviour, have not been studied within this context. This paper extends the previous literature by studying to what extent individual biological endowment, proxied by prenatal testosterone (PT) (measured by the 2D:4D ratio), can determine personal demand for bank services and insurance. We use data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of 2011–2012. Our findings confirm the existence of the link between inherent biological variation and financial inclusion: PT affects the use of bank cards, intention to take out a loan, having a bank deposit and the consumption of insurance products.