Always broke? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. New research indicates that your earning potential may have been predetermined – even before you were born.
Take a look at your hand. A new study, released yesterday by The Higher School of Economics in Russia, shows that many skills and successes – including salary – can be linked to the ratio of your index and ring fingers. (This is commonly known as the 2D:4D ratio.)
It turns out that having a smaller ratio between those fingers, i.e. they’re similar in length, correlates to greater earning potential. This is true for both men and women when controlling for age, education, and occupation type.
The difference between the length of those digits indicates the amount of perinatal testosterone you were exposed to in the womb. The closer the two fingers are in length, the higher the testosterone level. While indicators for early testosterone exposure have previously been associated with character traits such as risk-taking and aggressiveness, this new research is the first to link those with actual labour market outcomes.
For this research, nearly 2,000 participants had their 2D:4D ratio measured and answered a series of questions related to their occupation, education, and earnings. Higher prenatal testosterone – lower ratio of the digits – indicated higher financial success for both genders.
So if you’re not doing so well, I guess you can blame your mother. Or better yet, go out and find a partner whose ring and index fingers are roughly the same length. They’ll probably make more money.
The full study was published in the Journal of Economics & Human Biology.