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Relative Finger Lengths and Russian Wages

The famous “invisible hand” of economics is made visible in part — that part being the relative lengths of some of the fingers of laborers in Russia — in a newly published study.

The study is: “The Effects of Prenatal Testosterone on Wages: Evidence from Russia,” John V.C. Nye, Maksym Bryukhanov, Ekaterina Kochergina, Ekaterina Orel, Sergiy Polyachenko, Maria Yudkevich, Economics and Human Biology, vol. 24, 2017, pp. 43-60.

The authors, at George Mason University, USA, and National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, explain:

“the relative length of the second to the fourth finger (2D:4D)… Though we do not yet understand the exact biological mechanisms… This paper uses a sample of working-age respondents from Moscow and the Moscow region to establish that [lower 2D:4D ratios] is clearly correlated with higher earnings for both women and men once controlling for factors such as age, education, and occupation.”

Here’s further detail from the study:


Next time you run into a professional economist, ask about this discovery. If you yourself are a professional economist, we would enjoy hearing how this discovery will change the way you understand the world economy.

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