New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
three papers chosen by

  1. Rewarding my Self. Self Esteem, Self Determination and Motivations By Bruno, Bruna
  3. Cognitive Testing of Wave 3 Understanding Society Questions By Gray, Michelle; d'Ardenne, Joanna; Balarajan, Meera; Uhrig, S. C. Noah

  1. By: Bruno, Bruna
    Abstract: The paper presents a model where the self esteem and the self determination mechanisms are explicitly modelled in order to explain how they affect the intrinsic motivation and its impact on individual choices. The aim is to reconcile different explanations (and consequences) of the motivation crowding theory in a unique theoretical framework where the locus of control is introduced in a one period maximisation problem and the intrinsic motivation is assumed as an exogenous psychological attitude. The analysis is based on the different effect of the self esteem mechanism on intrinsic motivation input oriented or output oriented. Results show that crowding out of intrinsic motivation depends on the self determination sensitivity and the individual belief about one’s own self.
    Keywords: intrinsic motivation; crowding out; self-esteem; self-determination.
    JEL: D11 D64 J22
    Date: 2011–07–13
  2. By: Maria De Paola; Francesca Gioia (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Does the choice of the field of study depend on individual risk aversion? The direction of the relationship between individual risk attitudes and type of college major chosen is potentially ambiguous. On the one hand, risk adverse individuals may prefer majors allowing high returns on the labour market; on the other hand, if these majors expose students to a higher probability of dropping out, those who are more risk adverse may be induced to choose less challenging fields. Using data from a sample of students enrolled in 2009 at a middle-sized Italian public University, we find that, controlling for a large number of individual characteristics, including cognitive abilities, personality traits and family background, more risk adverse students are more likely to choose any other field (Humanities, Engineering and Sciences) compared to Social Sciences. We interpret this result considering that some of these fields, such as Humanities, allow to reduce the risk of dropping out, while others (such as Engineering and Sciences)involve a lower risk on the labour market. It also emerges that the effect of risk aversion on major choice is related to student ability. Risk adverse students characterized by high abilities tend to prefer Engineering, while the propensity of risk adverse students to enrol in Humanities decreases when ability increases, suggesting that the attention paid to labour market risks and drop out risks varies according to student skills.
    Keywords: Risk aversion, College choice, Education
    JEL: I21 Z13 J24
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Gray, Michelle; d'Ardenne, Joanna; Balarajan, Meera; Uhrig, S. C. Noah
    Abstract: New survey content for Wave 3 of Understanding Society includes social networks, non-resident relationships, and a variety of cognitive functioning measures. This report evaluates these items using cognitive testing. A key focus is on respondents who are non-native English speakers. Survey interviewing is routinely done with respondents who have adequate English, though this may belie comprehension and other response problems not ordinarily evident in survey data. Cognitive testing with this population, therefore, facilitated redesign of these survey items to address potential prejudice caused by poor language ability.
    Date: 2011–05–18

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