nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
three papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills By Carlsson, Magnus; Dahl, Gordon B.; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  2. Absorptive Capacity and Innovation: When Is It Better to Cooperate? By Abiodun Egbetokun; Ivan Savin
  3. Personality Traits and the Marriage Market By Arnaud Dupuy; Alfred Galichon

  1. 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
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6913&r=neu
  2. By: Abiodun Egbetokun (Graduate College "Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Ivan Savin (Graduate College "Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: Cooperation can benefit and hurt firms at the same time. An important question then is: when is it better to cooperate. And how can an appropriate partner be selected? In this paper we present a model of inter-firm cooperation driven by cognitive distance, appropriability conditions and external knowledge. Absorptive capacity of firms develops as an outcome of the interaction between absorptive R&D and cognitive distance from voluntary and involuntary knowledge spillovers. Thus, we offer a revision of the original model by Cohen and Levinthal (1989) accounting for recent empirical findings and explicitly modeling absorptive capacity within the framework of interactive learning. We apply that to the analysis of firms' cooperation and R&D investment preferences. While the focus of this paper is limited to a static scenario, where the cognitive distance between cooperating firms is fixed and given exogenously, in Savin and Egbetokun (2012) we address the dynamic approach and provide more extensive simulation results.
    Keywords: inter-firm cooperation, absorptive capacity, cognitive distance, innovation, knowledge spillovers
    JEL: C63 D83 L14 O32 O33
    Date: 2012–10–15
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-056&r=neu
  3. By: Arnaud Dupuy (Reims Management School, Maastricht School of Management and IZA. Address: Reims Management School (RMS), 59, rue Pierre Taittinger - 51100 Reims, France. Email: arnaud.dupuy@reims-ms.fr.); Alfred Galichon (Sciences Po Paris, Department of Economics, Address: 28 rue des Saint-Pères, 75007 Paris, France. E-mail: alfred.galichon@sciences-po.fr.)
    Abstract: Which and how many attributes are relevant for the sorting of agents in a matching market? This paper adresses these questions by constructing indices of mutual attractiveness that aggregate information about agents' attributes. The rst k indices for agents on each side of the market provide the best approximation of the matching surplus by a k-dimensional model. The methodology is applied on a unique Dutch households survey containing information about education, height, BMI, health, attitude towards risk and personality traits of spouses. Three important empirical conclusions are drawn. First, sorting in the marriage market is not unidimensional: individuals face important trade-os between the attributes of their spouses which are not amenable to a singledimensional index. Second, although education explains a quarter of a couple's observable surplus, personality traits explain another 20%. Third, dierent personality traits matter dierently for men and for women.
    Keywords: Multidimensional sorting, Saliency Analysis, marriage market, personality traits, continuous logit
    JEL: D3 J21 J23 J31
    Date: 2012–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:msm:wpaper:2012/41&r=neu

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