nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2015‒11‒01
five papers chosen by

  1. Gender gap in upward mobility: What is the role of non-cognitive traits? By Chu, Luke Yu-Wei; Linz, Susan J.
  2. Childhood and Adulthood Skill Acquisition - Importance for Labor Market Outcomes By Karl Fritjof Krassel; Kenneth Lykke Sørensen
  3. Grit Trumps Talent? An experimental approach By Gerhards, Leonie; Gravert, Christina
  4. Boys’ and girls’ ability to comprehend school book texts in sixth grade By Tuula Merisuo-Storm
  5. Individual Poverty Paths and the Stability of Control-Perception By Hendrik Thiel; Stephan L. Thomsen

  1. By: Chu, Luke Yu-Wei; Linz, Susan J.
    Abstract: Do non-cognitive traits contribute to the gender gap in supervisory status and promotion? We use a large linked employer-employee dataset collected from six former socialist countries to assess the link between non-cognitive traits and upward mobility. Controlling for on workplace heterogeneity, we find that gender differences in locus of control, the preference for challenge versus affiliation, and adherence to work ethic together can explain about 7–18% of the gender gap in supervisory status and promotions Overall, non-cognitive traits provide an important, though incomplete, explanation for the gender gap in upward mobility.
    Keywords: Gender gap, Non-cognitive traits, Workplace heterogeneity, Workplace, Upward mobility, Workplace personality traits,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Karl Fritjof Krassel (KORA, Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research); Kenneth Lykke Sørensen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark; School of Information, University of Michigan, USA)
    Abstract: Using matched PISA and PIAAC data from Denmark, we investigate the return to cognitive and non-cognitive skills with respect to labor market outcomes. We measure cognitive and non-cognitive skills at childhood and when the respondents have entered the labor market. Hence, we are able to split up the analysis contingent on cognitive and non-cognitive skills measured before entering the labor market. In this way we can measure both whether cognitive and/or non-cognitive skills relate to earnings and employment rate as well as how important the timing of acquiring skills are for outcomes on the labor market. Overall we find that cognitive skills are important for both earnings and employment rate but that the timing of the acquisition of the skills is of less importance. On the contrary, non-cognitive skills are important for earnings independent on whether the worker had high or low cognitive skills at childhood, but only important for employment rate for workers with high cognitive and low non-cognitive childhood skills. Overall our findings suggest that both cognitive and non-cognitive skills are important but that the dynamics differ.
    Keywords: Cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, earnings, employment, PIAAC, PISA
    JEL: J21 J24
    Date: 2015–10–27
  3. By: Gerhards, Leonie (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University); Gravert, Christina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Perseverance to accomplish long-term goals, also know as grit, is a crucial determinant for success in life. In the present study we introduce an innovative laboratory design to elicit grit in an incentivized and controlled way. Subjects work on a computerized task to solve anagrams. By observing their decision not to shirk, we measure their grittiness experimentally. We find that the original questionnaire measure of grit developed by Duckworth et al. (2007) is significantly correlated with our new experimental measure - even when controlling for ability and a questionnaire measure of self-control. Moreover, subjects' earnings increase in their experimentally elicited grit.
    Keywords: Grit; perseverance; laboratory experiment; real-effort task
    JEL: C91 D03 J24 M50
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: Tuula Merisuo-Storm (University of Turku, Department of Teacher Education in Rauma)
    Abstract: When studying almost any area in the school curriculum, the students use texts to acquire new information. It seems that for the students in primary, and especially, in secondary school, the textbooks are still today an important source of information. A considerable part of the time the students spend in their classroom and doing their homework is involved in textbook material.The goal of the study was to find out how well sixth graders (11–12 year-olds) comprehend the textbooks used in the sixth grade history and natural sciences classes; and if there are differences in the girls’ and boys’ reading comprehension skills. Altogether, 247 students (122 girls and 125 boys) took part in the study. About half of them read the text about whales in their natural science book and the other half the text about the great wall in China in their history book. After reading the text, the students answered ten questions and explained the meaning of the ten words underlined in the text. The results show that the students in both groups had no difficulties in answering those questions to which the answers were directly found in the texts. However, those questions proved to be difficult that required inference skills. The girls succeeded in both groups significantly better than the boys in answering the questions (t= 3.57, p= .000; t= 2.73, p= .008). For instance, there were two questions related to the history book chapter that not a single boy was able to answer correctly. Deriving the meaning of the words from the text context and explaining them proved to be even more demanding. The girls were significantly more skilful in explaining the words in the natural sciences book than the boys (t= 2,70, p= .008) but in explaining the meanings of the history book concepts there was no significant difference between the genders. The results of the study show that there are many students who enter secondary school with very poor reading comprehension skills. Therefore, it is important that the students are taught to comprehend texts related to different school subjects. They should learn to choose the best strategies when reading various types of texts. The textbooks of different school subjects may be constructed differently and contain different vocabulary and concepts. Consequently, the students need to be taught how the text context helps to understand the meaning of an unfamiliar word.
    Keywords: reading comprehension, gender, textbooks, deriving the meaning of words
  5. By: Hendrik Thiel; Stephan L. Thomsen
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether individual control-perception affects the probability of becoming poor, and vice versa, whether poverty experiences can be detrimental to these traits later on. The former relation is intuitive as control related traits underly many idiosyncratic determinants of poverty. Though traits like control-perception are known to stabilize towards adulthood, the latter association may be plausible when some plasticity is maintained in case of more vigorous environmental influences like poverty. Such deterioration of control-perception would lead to poor people being literally "trapped". Yet, it is unclear what the underlying mediation paths are and whether control-perception or other potential factors are involved. Our empirical results suggest that poverty experiences affect individual control-perception to some extent. Despite rather modest magnitudes, the findings indicate that no invariance of control-perception is given in adulthood.
    Keywords: personality traits, control-perception, poverty constitution, poverty experience
    JEL: C33 C35 J21 J24 J30
    Date: 2015

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