New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2014‒06‒02
four papers chosen by

  1. Economic Behavior under Alcohol Influence: An Experiment on Time, Risk, and Social Preferences By Corazzini, Luca; Filippin, Antonio; Vanin, Paolo
  2. On the Robustness of Emotions and Behavior in a Power-to-Take Game Experiment By Fabio Galeotti
  3. Gender Gaps in Primary School Achievement: A Decomposition into Endowments and Returns to IQ and Non-cognitive Factors By Golsteyn, Bart H.H.; Schils, Trudie
  4. Probability weighting in different domains: the role of stakes, fungibility, and affect By Michał Krawczyk

  1. By: Corazzini, Luca (University of Padova); Filippin, Antonio (University of Milan); Vanin, Paolo (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: We report results from an incentivized laboratory experiment to provide controlled evidence on the causal effects of alcohol consumption on risk preferences, time perception and altruism. Our design allows disentangling the pharmacological effects of alcohol intoxication from those mediated by expectations, as we compare behaviors of three groups of subjects: those participating to an experiment with no reference to alcohol, those exposed to the possibility of consuming alcohol but assigned to a placebo and those having effectively consumed alcohol. Once randomly assigned to one treatment, subjects were administered a series of consecutive economic tasks, being the sequence kept constant across treatments. After controlling for both the willingness to pay and the potential misperception of probabilities as elicited in the experiment, we do not detect any effect of alcohol in depleting subjects' risk tolerance. On the contrary, we find that alcohol intoxication increases impatience. Moreover, we find that alcohol makes subjects less generous as we detect a negative relationship between the blood alcohol concentration and the amount of money donated to NGOs.
    Keywords: alcohol, risk preferences, impatience, laboratory experiment
    JEL: D03 I10 C91
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Fabio Galeotti (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: An important branch of economic research on emotions has used power-to-take game experiments to study the impact of negative emotions, such as anger, irritation and contempt, on the decision to punish. We investigate experimentally to what extent the findings of this literature are driven by the particular punishment technology adopted, and whether the experience and background of the participants affect behavior and emotions in this context. We found that (a) negative emotions do still play an important role when the potential relevant confound is removed from the punishment technology; (b) subjects display a similar behavior under a punishment technology with a constant and variable ‘fine-to-fee’ ratio; (c) previous experience mediates how contempt impacts on the decision to punish; and (d) non-UK students experience similar emotions to UK students, but generally appropriate more resources than UK students.
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Golsteyn, Bart H.H. (Maastricht University); Schils, Trudie (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: In elementary school, girls typically outperform boys in languages and boys typically outperform girls in math. The determinants of these differences have remained largely unexplored. Using rich data from Dutch elementary schools, we decompose the differences in achievement into gender differences in endowments and returns to IQ and non-cognitive factors. This descriptive analysis is a thought experiment in which we show the consequences for school performance if girls and boys would have similar resources and take similar advantage of these resources. Our findings indicate that gender differences in resources with respect to social and instrumental skills and need for achievement can explain part of the differences in performance. Boys seem to be better equipped with these resources. Additionally, boys and girls employ their skills differently. Girls take more advantage of their IQ than boys. Yet, the largest part of this parameter effect is left unexplained by IQ and non-cognitive factors.
    Keywords: decomposition, achievement, education, gender, personality
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Michał Krawczyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a laboratory experiment in which probability weighting functions for risky gains were elicited non-parametrically in over 500 incentivized subjects. I compare probability weights for monetary rewards to two less fungible domains involving vouchers for different types of consumption, inducing stronger or weaker (positive) emotions. The level of stakes was also manipulated. I find that the probability to win monetary rewards is weighted almost linearly in the high stakes condition, the probability to win vouchers associated with positive affect is underweighted and the probability to win affect-poor vouchers is strongly underweighted. Substantial underweighting also prevails in all three domains in the low stakes condition.
    Keywords: prospect theory, probability weighting functions, fungibility, affect
    JEL: D81
    Date: 2014

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