New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2012‒10‒13
two papers chosen by

  1. Becker meets Ricardo: A social and cognitive skills model of human capabilities By Xianwen Shi; Ronald Wolthoff; Aloysius Siow; Robert McCann
  2. The Impact of Time Between Cognitive Tasks on Performance: Evidence from Advanced Placement Exams By Ian Fillmore; Devin G. Pope

  1. By: Xianwen Shi (University of Toronto); Ronald Wolthoff (University of Toronto); Aloysius Siow (University of Toronto); Robert McCann (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper studies an equilibrium model of social and cognitive skills interactions in school, work and marriage. The model uses a common team production function in each sector which integrates the complementarity concerns of Becker with the task assigment and comparative advantage concerns of Ricardo. The theory delivers full task specialization in the labor and education markets, incomplete task specialization in marriage. It rationalizes many to one matching, a common feature in labor markets. There is also occupational choice, matching by different skills in different sectors. Equilibrium is equivalent to the solution of an utilitarian social planner solving a linear programming problem.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Ian Fillmore; Devin G. Pope
    Abstract: In many education and work environments, economic agents must perform several mental tasks in a short period of time. As with physical fatigue, it is likely that cognitive fatigue can occur and affect performance if a series of mental tasks are scheduled close together. In this paper, we identify the impact of time between cognitive tasks on performance in a particular context: the taking of Advanced Placement (AP) exams by high-school students. We exploit the fact that AP exam dates change from year to year, so that students who take two subject exams in one year may have a different number of days between the exams than students who take the same two exams in a different year. We find strong evidence that a shorter amount of time between exams is associated with lower scores, particularly on the second exam. Our estimates suggest that students who take exams with 10 days of separation are 8% more likely to pass both exams than students who take the same two exams with only 1 day of separation.
    JEL: D03 I20
    Date: 2012–10

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