New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2014‒02‒08
three papers chosen by

  1. Locus of Control and Savings By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Sonja C. Kassenboehmer; Mathias G. Sinning
  2. The Impact of Apprenticeship Training on Personality Traits: An Instrumental Variable Approach By Thomas Bolli; Stefanie Hof
  3. "I wish I knew ..."– Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education By Bernardi, Martino; Bratti, Massimiliano; De Simone, Gianfranco

  1. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne); Sonja C. Kassenboehmer (Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne); Mathias G. Sinning (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between individuals’ locus of control and their savings behavior, i.e. wealth accumulation, savings rates, and portfolio choices. Locus of control is a psychological concept that captures individuals’ beliefs about the controllability of life events and is a key component of self-control. We find that households with an internal reference person save more both in terms of levels and as a percentage of their permanent incomes. Although the locus-of-control gap in savings rates is largest among rich households, the gap in wealth accumulation is particularly large for poor households. Finally, households with an internal reference person and average net worth hold significantly less financial wealth, but significantly more pension wealth, than otherwise similar households with an external reference person.
    Date: 2014–01–07
  2. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Stefanie Hof (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how apprenticeship training, i.e., work-based secondary education, affects personality traits compared to full-time school-based vocational or general education. Employing an instrumental variable approach that exploits the regional differences in the relative weight of school- and work-based secondary education across Switzerland and Europe, we determine that apprenticeship training reduces neuroticism and increases agreeableness and conscientiousness, while openness and extraversion remain unaffected. These results validate the socializing function of work-based education. However, heterogeneous treatment effects are found, indicating positive effects for students with less favorable personality traits but insignificant or even reducing effects in the case of extraversion for those with already high values in personality traits.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship, work-based education, VET, Big Five, personality traits
    JEL: C26 D01 I20 J24
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Bernardi, Martino (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli); Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); De Simone, Gianfranco (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli)
    Abstract: Previous research shows that, in tracked school systems, enrollment decisions are strongly associated with future outcomes both in education and on the labour market. Yet few studies explicitly investigate whether students (and their parents) have all the relevant information they need to make proper decisions. We address this issue by exploiting the data collected within the Arianna Project, an independent school track counseling service run by the municipality of a large city in Northern Italy (Turin). Virtually all students in the final year of lower secondary education participate into the program and they receive advices based on standardized cognitive and non-cognitive tests. Our dataset is uniquely enriched by information on students' pre-test enrollment intentions, their final track choices and their performances in the upper secondary school. We show that students' enrollment intentions are very often inconsistent with their actual potential as revealed by Arianna. However, students (and their parents) are likely to revise their initial choice when new information on their true abilities is made available to them. Moreover, we find that students who eventually make track choices in line with Arianna's suggestions are less likely to be retained in the first year of the upper secondary education.
    Keywords: ability, information, school track choice, grade retention
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2014–01

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