nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
seven papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Is fatalism a cultural belief? An empirical analysis on the origin of fatalistic tendencies By Ruiu, Gabriele
  2. Judgmental Overconfidence and Trading Activity By Gelinde Fellner; Sebastian Krügel
  3. Are you what you eat? Experimental evidence on risk preferences and health habits By Miraldo, M; Galizzi, MM
  4. Strategic behavior in regressions: an experimental By Javier Perote; Juan Perote-Peña; Marc Vorsatz
  5. Employee motivation – a guide for entrepreneurs: managing people By Bundaleska, Elena
  6. The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills By Carlsson, Magnus; Dahl, Gordon B.; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  7. Truth-Telling: A Representative Assessment By Abeler, Johannes; Becker, Anke; Falk, Armin

  1. By: Ruiu, Gabriele
    Abstract: I maintain that fatalistic tendencies are the output of the interaction between cultural factors (and in particular of religious beliefs) and historical Institutional experience. Using WVS data this idea has been tested against two well known sociological theories on the origin of fatalism: Weberian cosmological fatalism and Durkheim’s structural fatalism. The data supports the Durkheimian idea that a more regulated society tends to be also more fatalistic. Also the direct effect of religion on fatalistic beliefs seem to be an important element determining fatalistic tendencies. However there are not large differences across the various faiths. In other terms, being religious independently from the religious affiliation implies a more fatalistic view of life.
    Keywords: Culture; fatalism; institutions; religion
    JEL: Z1 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2012–07–16
  2. By: Gelinde Fellner (Ulm University, Institute of Economics); Sebastian Krügel (Max Planck Institute of Economics, International Max Planck Research School "Uncertainty" and Ulm University)
    Abstract: We investigate the theoretically proposed link between judgmental overconfidence and trading activity. In addition to applying classical measures of miscalibration, we introduce a measure to capture misperception of signal reliability, which is the relevant bias in the theoretical overconfidence literature. We relate the obtained overconfidence measures to trading activity in call and continuous experimental asset markets. Our results confirm prior findings that classical miscalibration measures are not related to trading activity. However, misperception of signal reliability is significantly linked to trading volume, particularly in the continuous market. In addition, we find that men trade more than women at high levels of risk aversion, but the gender trading gap vanishes as risk aversion lessens. The reason is that the trading activity of women seems to be more sensitive to risk attitudes than that of men.
    Keywords: Overconfidence, Trading activity, Signal perception
    JEL: D03 C91 G12
    Date: 2012–10–19
  3. By: Miraldo, M; Galizzi, MM
    Date: 2012–06
  4. By: Javier Perote; Juan Perote-Peña; Marc Vorsatz
    Abstract: We study experimentally in the laboratory the situation when individuals have to report their private information (that is commonly known to be the sum of an observable and a random component) to a public authority that then makes inference about the true value hold by each of the individuals. It is assumed that individuals prefer this inferred or predicted value to be as close as possible to the their true value. Consistent with the theoretical literature, we show that the participants in our experiment misrepresent their private information more under the OLS than under the resistant line estimator (which extends the median voter theorem to the two{dimensional setting). Moreover, only the resistant line estimator is empirically unbiased and subjects earn signicantly less if the OLS estimator is applied.
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Bundaleska, Elena
    Abstract: The success of a good entrepreneur does not depend only on his/her innova-tiveness, education, specialized knowledge, talent, boldness, similar, but very much so on his/her abilities to manage people. The aim of this article is to suggest practical rec-ommendations for entrepreneurs on how to develop or improve their people management skills. The recommendations are not all-inclusive. They are just a starting point. Each en-trepreneur should develop from there, based on personal experience.
    Keywords: Entrepreneur; management skills; motivation; delegating; instructing
    JEL: L26 M13
    Date: 2010–10
  6. By: Carlsson, Magnus (Linnaeus University); Dahl, Gordon B. (University of California, San Diego); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Linnaeus University)
    Abstract: How schooling affects cognitive skills is a fundamental question for studies of human capital and labor markets. While scores on cognitive ability tests are positively associated with schooling, it has proven difficult to ascertain whether this relationship is causal. Moreover, the effect of schooling is difficult to separate from the confounding factors of age at test date, relative age within a classroom, season of birth, and cohort effects. In this paper, we exploit conditionally random variation in the assigned test date for a battery of cognitive tests which almost all 18 year-old males were required to take in preparation for military service in Sweden. Both age at test date and number of days spent in school vary randomly across individuals after flexibly controlling for date of birth, parish, and expected graduation date (the three variables the military conditioned on when assigning test date). We find an extra 10 days of school instruction raises cognitive scores on crystallized intelligence tests (synonym and technical comprehension tests) by approximately one percent of a standard deviation, whereas extra nonschool days have almost no effect. The benefit of additional school days is homogeneous, with similar effect sizes based on past grades in school, parental education, and father's earnings. In contrast, test scores on fluid intelligence tests (spatial and logic tests) do not increase with additional days of schooling, but do increase modestly with age. These findings have important implications for questions about the malleability of cognitive skills in young adults, schooling models of signaling versus human capital, the interpretation of test scores in wage regressions, and policies related to the length of the school year.
    Keywords: cognitive skill formation, human capital
    JEL: J24 I20
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Abeler, Johannes (University of Oxford); Becker, Anke (University of Bonn); Falk, Armin (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: A central assumption of the canonical cheap talk literature is that people misreport their private information if this is to their material benefit. Recent evidence from laboratory experiments with student subjects suggests, however, that while many people do report the payoff-maximizing outcome, some report their private information truthfully or at least do not lie maximally. We measure truth-telling outside the laboratory by calling a representative sample of the German population at home. In our setup, participants have a strong monetary incentive to misreport, misreporting cannot be detected, and reputational concerns are negligible. Yet, we find that aggregate reporting behavior closely follows the expected truthful distribution. Our results underline the importance of lying costs and raise questions regarding the influence of the decision-making environment and the elicitation mode on reporting behavior.
    Keywords: private information, cheap talk, honesty, lying costs, representative experiment
    JEL: C93 D01 D82 D83
    Date: 2012–10

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