New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
four papers chosen by

  1. How the Allocation of Children?s Time Affects Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Development By Mario Fiorini; Michael P. Keane
  2. The Importance of the Cognitive Environment for Intertemporal Choice By Michael A. Kuhn; Peter Kuhn; Marie Claire Villeval
  3. The relation between maternal work hours and cognitive outcomes of young school-aged children By Fouarge D.; Künn-Nelen A.C.; Grip A. de
  4. Sociability, Altruism and Subjective Well-Being By Leonardo Becchetti; Luisa Corrado; Pierluigi Conzo

  1. By: Mario Fiorini (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney); Michael P. Keane (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: The allocation of children?s time among different activities may be important for their cognitive and non-cognitive development. In our work we exploit time use diaries from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to study the effect of time allocation across a wide range of alternative activities. By doing so we characterize the trade-off between the activities to which a child is exposed. On the one hand, our results suggest that time spent in educational activities, particularly with parents, is the most productive input for cognitive skill development. On the other hand, non-cognitive skills appear insensitive to alternative time allocations. Instead, these skills are greatly affected by the mother?s parenting style.
    Date: 2013–02–01
  2. By: Michael A. Kuhn (Department of Economics, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0508, La Jolla, CA 92093); Peter Kuhn (Department of Economics, University of California Santa Barbara, 2127 North Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9210, USA); Marie Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    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 substitution 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
  3. By: Fouarge D.; Künn-Nelen A.C.; Grip A. de (ROA)
    Abstract: This paper is the first that analyzes the relation between maternal work hours and the cognitive outcomes of young school-going children. When children attend school, the potential time working mothers miss out with their children, is smaller than when children do not yet attend school. At the same time, working might benefit children through, for example, greater family income. Our study is highly relevant for public policy as in most countries maternal employment rates rise when children enter school. We find no negative relation between maternal working hours and child outcomes as is often found for pre-school aged children. Instead, we find that children’s sorting test score is higher when their mothers work part-time (girls) or full-time (boys). Furthermore, we find that planned parent-child activities are positively related to children’s language test scores. Nevertheless, we do not find that a richer home environment in terms of the number of parent-child activities provided to the child explain the relation between maternal work hours and children’s test scores.
    Keywords: Household Behavior: General;
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Luisa Corrado (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Pierluigi Conzo (University of Turin)
    Abstract: We provide non experimental evidence of the relevance of sociability on subjective wellbeing by investigating the determinants of life satisfaction on a large sample of Europeans aged above 50. We document that voluntary work, religious attendance, helping friends/neighbours and participation to community-related organizations affect positively and significantly life satisfaction. We illustrate the different impact that some sociability variables have on eudaimonic versus cognitive measures of subjective wellbeing. Our empirical findings discriminate among other regarding and self-regarding preferences as rationales explaining such behaviour. We document that different combinations between actions and motivations have different impact on life satisfaction thereby providing support for the relevance of these specific “contingent goods” and to the literature of procedural utility. Our findings are confirmed in robustness checks including refinements of the dependent variable, instrumental variables and sensitivity analysis on departures from the exogeneity assumption.
    Keywords: sociability, altruism, other-regarding activities, other regarding motivations, life satisfaction, subjective well-being.
    JEL: A13 D13 D64
    Date: 2013–03–29

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