nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2013‒03‒23
three papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Impacts of Parental Health Shocks on Children’s NonCognitive Skills By Franz Westermaier; Brant Morefield; Andrea Mühlenweg
  2. The Importance of the Cognitive Environment for Intertemporal Choice By Kuhn, Michael A.; Kuhn, Peter J.; Villeval, Marie Claire
  3. Summarizing large spatial datasets: Spatial principal components and spatial canonical correlation By Bhupathiraju, Samyukta; Verspagen, Bart; Ziesemer, Thomas

  1. By: Franz Westermaier (University of Marburg); Brant Morefield (Abt Associates Inc., Durham NC); Andrea Mühlenweg (University of Hannover)
    Abstract: We examine how parental health shocks affect children’s non-cognitive skills. Based on a German mother-and-child data base, we draw on significant changes in selfreported parental health as an exogenous source of health variation to identify effects on outcomes for children at ages of three and six years. At the age of six, we observe that maternal health shocks in the previous three years have significant negative effects on children’s behavioral outcomes. The most serious of these maternal health shocks decrease the observed non-cognitive skills up to half a standard deviation. Paternal health does not robustly affect non-cognitive outcomes.
    Keywords: Human capital, health, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I00 J24 I10
    Date: 2013
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mar:magkse:201312&r=neu
  2. By: Kuhn, Michael A. (University of California, San Diego); Kuhn, Peter J. (University of California, Santa Barbara); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: We experimentally manipulate two aspects of the cognitive environment, cognitive depletion and recent sugar intake, and estimate their effects on individuals' time preferences in a way that allows us to identify the structural parameters of a simple (α,β,δ) intertemporal utility function for each person. We find that individuals exposed to a prior cognitive load, individuals who consumed a sugared drink, and individuals who consumed a sugar-free drink all defer more income than a control group exposed to none of these conditions. Structural estimates show that all three effects are driven entirely by increases in the intertemporal price elasticity parameter (α). Together, our results suggest that at least for complex economic decisions like intertemporal financial choice, the ‘attention/focusing' effect of both prior cognitively demanding activity and prior assignment of a primary reward can improve decision-making.
    Keywords: time preferences, self-control, depletion, sucrose, experiment
    JEL: C91 D90
    Date: 2013–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7273&r=neu
  3. By: Bhupathiraju, Samyukta (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG); Verspagen, Bart (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, and Maastricht University); Ziesemer, Thomas (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, and Maastricht University)
    Abstract: We propose a method for spatial principal components analysis that has two important advantages over the method that Wartenberg (1985) proposed. The first advantage is that, contrary to Wartenberg's method, our method has a clear and exact interpretation: it produces a summary measure (component) that itself has maximum spatial correlation. Second, an easy and intuitive link can be made to canonical correlation analysis. Our spatial canonical correlation analysis produces summary measures of two datasets (e.g., each measuring a different phenomenon), and these summary measures maximize the spatial correlation between themselves. This provides an alternative weighting scheme as compared to spatial principal components analysis. We provide example applications of the methods and show that our variant of spatial canonical correlation analysis may produce rather different results than spatial principal components analysis using Wartenberg's method. We also illustrate how spatial canonical correlation analysis may produce different results than spatial principal components analysis.
    Keywords: spatial principal components analysis, spatial canonical correlation analysis, spatial econometrics, Moran coefficients, spatial concentration
    JEL: R10 R15 C10
    Date: 2013
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dgr:unumer:2013011&r=neu

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