nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2011‒05‒30
two papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics By Berggren, Niclas
  2. Health Effects on Children's Willingness to Compete By Bartling, Björn; Fehr, Ernst; Schunk, Daniel

  1. By: Berggren, Niclas (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: This study analyzes leading research in behavioral economics to see whether it contains advocacy of paternalism and whether it addresses the potential cognitive limitations and biases of the policymakers who are going to implement paternalist policies. The findings reveal that 20.7% of the studied articles in behavioral economics propose paternalist policy action and that 95.5% of these do not contain any analysis of the cognitive ability of policymakers. This suggests that behavioral political economy, in which the analytical tools of behavioral economics are applied to political decision-makers as well, would offer a useful extension of the research program.
    Keywords: Behavioral economics; Anomalies; Rationality; Homo economicus; Public choice
    JEL: D78
    Date: 2011–05–19
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0166&r=neu
  2. By: Bartling, Björn (University of Zurich); Fehr, Ernst (University of Zurich); Schunk, Daniel (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: The formation of human capital is important for a society’s welfare and economic success. Recent literature shows that child health can provide an important explanation for disparities in children's human capital development across different socio-economic groups. While this literature focuses on cognitive skills as determinants of human capital, it neglects non-cognitive skills. We analyze data from economic experiments with preschoolers and their mothers to investigate whether child health can explain developmental gaps in children's non-cognitive skills. Our measure for children's non-cognitive skills is their willingness to compete with others. Our findings suggest that health problems are negatively related to children's willingness to compete and that the effect of health on competitiveness differs with socio-economic background. Health has a strongly negative effect in our sub-sample with low socioeconomic background, whereas there is no effect in our sub-sample with high socio-economic background.
    Keywords: willingness to compete, non-cognitive skills, human capital, health, household survey studies
    JEL: C90 I10 J24
    Date: 2011–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5740&r=neu

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