nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2014‒09‒25
three papers chosen by

  1. Gender differences in cognitive abilities among the elderly poor of Peru By Rafael NOVELLA; Javier OLIVERA
  2. Creativity, Education or What? On the Measurement of Regional Human Capital By Eckhardt Bode; Lucia Perez Villar
  3. Categorization Based Belief Formations By Joerg Bleile

  1. By: Rafael NOVELLA; Javier OLIVERA
    Abstract: This paper analyses gender differences on cognitive abilities for the elderly poor in Peru. We use a unique and recent survey for the elderly individuals living in poverty in Peru (ESBAM) that includes cognitive tests and a comprehensive set of socio-demographics and subjective and objective health measures. We find significant differences in mental intactness in favour of males, and in episodic memory in favour of females. In contrast, there are not gender differences in an overall measure of cognition, but regional differences appear to matter in favour of urban localities. The sizeable associations of education and childhood nutrition quality with cognition confirm the long-term impacts of early life developments on current outcomes. Therefore, policies aimed at improving early childhood development are expected to have a positive impact in later-life.
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Eckhardt Bode; Lucia Perez Villar
    Abstract: This paper substantiates the debate following Richard Florida’s suggestion to measure regional human capital by creative occupations rather than education. Consistent with Florida’s notion of creativity, it suggests a microfoundation that relates creativity to workers’ cognitive and noncognitive skills. It shows that this microfoundation is similar to that of human capital in recent labor economics, which has facilitated important new insights. It also shows that Florida’s measure is too crude to make a difference. Nonethe-less, it is time to rethink regional human capital. Occupations may help project workers’ cognitive and noncognitive skills from the micro to the regional level
    Keywords: Human Capital, Education, Creativity, Cognitive Skills, Noncognitive Skills, Occupation, Regional Wages, Regional Growth
    JEL: I21 I25 J24 R12 R23
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Joerg Bleile (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: An agent needs to determine a belief over potential outcomes for a new problem based on past observations gathered in her database (memory). There is a rich literature in cognitive science showing that human minds process and order information in categories, rather than piece by piece. We assume that agents are naturally equipped (by evolution) with a efficient heuristic intuition how to categorize. Depending on how available categorized information is activated and processed, we axiomatize two different versions of belief formation relying on categorizations. In one approach an agent relies only on the estimates induced by the single pieces of information contained in so called target categories that are activated by the problem for which a belief is asked for. Another approach forms a prototype based belief by averaging over all category-based estimates (so called prototypical estimates) corresponding to each category in the database. In both belief formations the involved estimates are weighted according to their similarity or relevance to the new problem. We impose normatively desirable and natural properties on the categorization of databases. On the stage of belief formation our axioms specify the relationship between different categorized databases and their corresponding induced (category or prototype based) beliefs. The axiomatization of a belief formation in Billot et al. (Econometrica, 2005) is covered for the situation of a (trivial) categorization of a database that consists only of singleton categories and agents basically do not process information categorical.
    Keywords: Belief formation, prior, case-based reasoning, similarity, categorization, prototype
    JEL: D81 D83
    Date: 2014–07

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.