nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒07‒25
four papers chosen by

  1. Democracy and economic growth: the role of intelligence in cross-country regressions By Salahodjaev, Raufhon
  2. Charitable Behaviour and the Big Five Personality Traits: Evidence from UK Panel Data By Sarah Brown; Karl Taylor
  3. Exercise Training Lowers Serum Chemerin Concentration in Obese Children By Farzad Zehsaz; Negin Farhangi
  4. Healthy(?), Wealthy and Wise: Birth Order and Adult Health By Black, Sandra; Devereux, Paul J.; Salvanes, Kjell G

  1. By: Salahodjaev, Raufhon
    Abstract: Empirical literature has long conjectured that institutional arrangements, proxied by democracy, social capital and intelligence, are relevant determinants in cross-country differences in economic performance. Related literature, however, predominantly documents that democracy has either a negative or not significant impact on economic growth, while intelligence is assumed to have strong and direct effect on economic performance. We propose that that the effect of democratization is mediated by the degree of the approval to such policies, and that intelligence may alleviate or diminish the negative effect of weak institutions on economic growth. We empirically, investigate the interactive effect of democracy and intelligence on economic growth, using data from 93 nations, over the period 1970-2013. The results show that the relationship link between democracy and the real GDP growth varies with a nation’s level of cognitive abilities. The results remain robust to various estimation techniques, control variables and time periods.
    Keywords: intelligence, democracy, economic growth, IQ, cross-county
    JEL: I25 O43 O47
    Date: 2015–02–23
  2. By: Sarah Brown (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Karl Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Keywords: Charitable donations; Volunteering; Personality traits; Tobit model; Censored quantile regression.
    JEL: C24 D03 H41 N3 I E A A
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Farzad Zehsaz (Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran); Negin Farhangi (Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran)
    Abstract: Background: Obesity has been associated with low-grade systemic inflammation, potentially leading to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases. Even moderate weight loss through dietary changes and physical exercise is effective in preventing and managing obesity-associated disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 16-week exercise program on serum chemerin concentrations in obese children.Methods: Thirty-two overweight and obese male children were randomly assigned to either a twice-per-week exercise training group (ExG = 16) or a nonexercising control group (CG = 16) for 16 wk. Body mass index (BMI), body composition, waist circumference(WC), glucose, insulin, insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), lipids and serum chemerin were measured before and after intervention.Results: Exercise training significantly improved BMI, body composition, WC, glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR and lipids’ profile in ExG. Serum chemerin concentrations were high at baseline in both groups, but exercise training reduced its levels after 16 weeks to 168.9±12.6 ng/ml(p<0.001). Also, significant correlations were found between changes in chemerin serum concentration and BMI, WC, percentage of body fat, HOMA-IR (respectively; r=0.78, p=0.03 ;. r = 0.86, p=0.03; r =0.91, p=0.05; r = 0.75, p=0.03.Conclusion: In conclusion, the 16 week training program used in this study was very effective for producing significant benefits to body composition, insulin resistance and lipids’ profile, as well as lowering chemerin levels in these obese children. Therefore, our data suggests that chemerin serum concentrations are associated with insulin resistance and that these correlations can mainly be attributed to obesity.
    Keywords: Obesity, Chemerin, Insulin Resistance, Adipokines
    JEL: I10
  4. By: Black, Sandra; Devereux, Paul J.; Salvanes, Kjell G
    Abstract: While recent research finds strong evidence that birth order affects children’s outcomes such as education, IQ scores, and earnings, the evidence for effects on health is more limited. This paper uses a large dataset on the population of Norway and focuses on the effect of birth order on a range of health and health-related behaviors, outcomes not previously available in datasets of this magnitude. Interestingly, we find complicated effects of birth order. First-borns are more likely to be overweight, to be obese, and to have high blood pressure and high triglycerides. So, unlike education or earnings, there is no clear first-born advantage in health. However, later-borns are more likely to smoke and have poorer self-reported physical and mental health. They are also less likely to report that they are happy. We find that these effects are largely unaffected by conditioning on education and earnings, suggesting that these are not the only important pathways to health differentials by birth order. When we explore possible mechanisms, we find that smoking early in pregnancy is more prevalent for first pregnancies than for later ones. However, women are more likely to quit smoking during their first pregnancy than during later ones, and first-borns are more likely to be breast-fed. These findings suggest a role for early maternal investment in determining birth order effects on health.
    Keywords: birth order; early childhood investment; health
    JEL: I12 J12 J13
    Date: 2015–07

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