The study conducted by the university's Carlson School of Management asked men to read news articles suggesting their local population had either more men or more women, USA Today reported.
When articles suggested a surplus of men, the savings rate among study participants fell 42 percent and the men indicated they were willing to borrow 84 percent more each month.
Lead researcher Vladas Griskevicius said real life evidence of this behavior was found in the state of Georgia.
When the study was conducted there were 1.18 single men for every single woman in Columbus, Ga., and the average consumer debt was $3,479 higher than in Macon, Ga., which had 0.78 single men for every woman.
"What we see in other animals is that when females are scarce, males become more competitive," Griskevicius.
Details of the study and a margin of error were not provided.