Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar


The influence of hormones and biology on behavior is a topic that is rife with controversy, especially when it comes to sexual hormones. There is even more murkiness when it comes to the topic of menstruation and knowledge about women’s menstrual cycles. Recent research on this topic have seen a link between the hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycles and various behavioral implications on competition, cooperation, and risk behavior. This study tries to expand existing knowledge by examining whether there is a link between hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycles and risk preferential behavior using economic experiments in the largely understudied context of Sierra Leone. I also attempt to quantify the impact of stigma around menstruation on self-reported personal well-being indices. Deviating from existing literature, I find that the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle has a significant effect on risk preferential behavior. Additionally, there is a significant relationship between menstruation and overall personal wellbeing.