nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒05‒22
four papers chosen by

  1. Democracy, cognitive skill, and top 1% income share in the 21st century By Yamamura, Eiji
  2. Compulsory Military Service and Personality Development By Johannes Schult; Jörn R. Sparfeldt
  3. Nature or Nurture in Higher Education? Inter-generational Implications of the Vietnam-Era Lottery By Christofides, Louis N.; Hoy, Michael; Milla, Joniada; Stengos, Thanasis
  4. muCap: Connecting FaceReader™ to z-Tree By Doyle, Leonard; Schindler, David

  1. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Studies to date have shown that income concentration for the top 1% income share, the super-rich, has increased conspicuously in the 21st century. However, there is insufficient knowledge on how political factors and types of human capital influence income concentration. Using cross-country data from this century, I provide empirical evidence that shows that democracy and cognitive skill are negatively correlated to the top 1% income share.
    Keywords: Democracy; Cognitive skill; Top 1% income share
    JEL: I24 P16
    Date: 2015–04–22
  2. By: Johannes Schult; Jörn R. Sparfeldt
    Abstract: Compulsory military service is a uniformed life event disrupting the lives of young men (and sometimes women) in countries with conscription. Consequently, the development of personality and subjective well-being during service was investigated using representative population data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. In line with previous findings, men who chose military service revealed descriptively lower agreeableness than those who did civil service (d = –0.33). Contrasting previous research, agreeableness ratings remained stable in both groups. Conscientiousness increased in both groups (η² = .067). The potentially disruptive nature of conscription is not reflected in the present longitudinal results.Overall, personality traits and life satisfaction appear to remain remarkably stable despite the substantial changes of living environments and daily routines associated with military service.
    Keywords: personality development, Big Five, subjective well-being, life event, draft, military conscription
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Christofides, Louis N. (University of Cyprus); Hoy, Michael (University of Guelph); Milla, Joniada (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain); Stengos, Thanasis (University of Guelph)
    Abstract: It is evident that a strong positive correlation persists between the educational attainment of parents and that of their children in many, if not most, populations. This relationship may form an important part of the phenomenon of low social mobility as well as inefficiently low investment in human capital by youth who have parents with relatively low educational attainment. Is it a genetic inter-generational transmission of innate ability from parents to their children (i.e. nature) or is it the environment that the better educated parents provide for their children (i.e. nurture) that explains this positive relationship? Understanding the relative contributions of nature versus nurture is critical to the development of any social policy designed to increase social and economic mobility between generations. Separating the so-called nature and nurture effects of this relationship is a difficult task. We use the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery as a natural experiment to address the nature-nurture question. Attending university in order to avoid the draft created a cohort which included individuals who would not normally have attended post-secondary educational institutions. Comparing the educational attainment of children of this cohort to that of cohorts who attended university in "normal times" creates a natural experiment to test the relative importance of the nature or nurture explanations. Our findings provide evidence in support of the nurture argument.
    Keywords: inter-generational mobility, higher education attendance
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2015–05
  4. By: Doyle, Leonard; Schindler, David
    Abstract: μCap (muCap) is a software package (citeware) for economic experiments enabling experimenters to analyze emotional states of subjects using z-Tree and FaceReader™. μCap is able to create videos of subjects on client computers based on stimuli shown on screen and restrict recording material to relevant time frames. Another feature of μCap is the creation of time stamps in csv format at prespecified screens (or at prespecified points in time) during the experiment, measured on the client computer. The software makes it possible to import these markers into FaceReader™ easily. Until recently, connecting z-Tree and FaceReader™ was only possible using workarounds or by undertaking many successive actions manually. μCap is the first program that significantly simplifies this process with the additional benefit of extremely high precision. This paper describes the usage, underlying principles as well as advantages and limitations of μCap. Furthermore, we give a brief outlook of how μCap can be beneficial in other contexts.
    Keywords: Experiment; Software; FaceReader™; z-Tree
    JEL: C90 C91 C99
    Date: 2015–05–10

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