nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒02‒29
three papers chosen by

  1. The Implications of Daylight Saving Time: A Field Experiment on Cognitive Performance and Risk Taking By Markus Schaffner; Jayanta Sarkar; Benno Torgler; Uwe Dulleck
  2. Frustration and Anger in Games: A First Empirical Test of the Theory By Persson, Emil
  3. Cognitive, Non-Cognitive Skills and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data in Bangladesh By Christophe Nordman; Leopold R. Sarr; Smriti Sharma

  1. By: Markus Schaffner; Jayanta Sarkar; Benno Torgler; Uwe Dulleck
    Abstract: To explore the effects of daylights saving time (DST) transition on cognitive performance and risk-taking behaviour immediately before and one week after the shift to DST, this study examines two Australian populations living in similar geographic surroundings who experience either no DST transition (Queensland) or a one-hour DST desynchronization (New South Wales). This exogenous variation creates natural control (QLD) and treatment (NSW) groups that enable isolation and identification of the DST transition's effect on the two outcome variables. Proximity to the border ensures similar socio-demographic and socio-economic conditions and thus permits comparison of the cognitive performance and risk-taking behaviour of affected versus unaffected individuals. The results suggest that exposure to the DST transition has no significant impact on either cognitive performance or risk-taking behaviour.
    Keywords: Daylight saving time, Risk-taking behaviour, Cognitive performance, Field experiment
    Date: 2015–02–06
  2. By: Persson, Emil (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Anger can be a strong behavioral force, with important consequences for human interaction. For example, angry individuals may become hostile in their dealings with others, and this has strategic consequences. Battigalli, Dufwenberg, and Smith (2015; BDS) develop a formal framework where frustration and anger affect interaction and shape economic outcomes. This paper designs an experiment testing the predictions based on central concepts of their theory. The focus is on situations where other-responsibility is weak or nonexistent, and in this specific context I find only limited support for the theory: While unfulfilled expectations about material payoffs seem to generate negative emotions in subjects, which is in line with BDS' conceptualization of frustration, behavior is generally not affected by these emotions to the extent predicted by the theory.
    Keywords: Emotion; Anger; Blame; Psychological games; Experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D03
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Christophe Nordman (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL, PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa); Leopold R. Sarr (The World Bank, South Asia Human Development Unit, Washington DC, USA); Smriti Sharma (UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland)
    Abstract: (english) We use a first-hand linked employer-employee dataset representing the formal sector of Bangladesh to explain gender wage gaps by the inclusion of measures of cognitive skills and personality traits. Our results show that while cognitive skills are important in determining mean wages, personality traits have little explanatory power. However, quantile regressions indicate that personality traits do matter in certain parts of the conditional wage distribution, especially for wages of females. Cognitive skills as measured by reading and numeracy also confer different benefits across the wage distribution to females and males respectively. Quantile decompositions indicate that these skills and traits reduce the unexplained gender gap, mainly in the upper parts of the wage distribution. Finally, results suggest that employers place greater consideration on observables such as academic background and prior work experience, and may also make assumptions about the existence of sex-specific skills of their workers, which could then widen the within-firm gender wage gap. _________________________________ (français) A partir de données liées employeurs-employés de première main couvrant le secteur formel du Bangladesh, nous expliquons l'écart salarial de genre en introduisant des mesures des compétences cognitives et des traits de personnalité des employés. Tandis que les compétences cognitives s'avèrent être d'importants déterminants des salaires lorsque ceux-ci sont observés au point moyen, les traits de personnalité présentent en revanche à ce niveau peu de pouvoir explicatif. Néanmoins, l'emploi de régressions quantiles sur les salaires indiquent que ces traits de personnalité jouent à certains endroits de la distribution conditionnelle, en particulier lorsqu'il s'agit des salaires des femmes. Les compétences cognitives, approchées par des scores en lecture et en calcul des salariés, montrent elles aussi des effets différenciés selon le sexe le long de la distribution des salaires. Des décompositions en quantile indiquent ensuite que ces compétences et traits de personnalité réduisent la part inexpliquée de l'écart salarial de genre, et ce principalement dans la partie haute de la distribution des salaires. Enfin, les résultats suggèrent que les employeurs privilégieraient davantage dans leurs pratiques de recrutement et politique salariale l'acquis scolaire et l’expérience professionnelle antérieure. Ils ont aussi tendance à faire usage de stéréotypes sur l'existence de compétences spécifiques selon le sexe des salariés, ce qui a tendance à creuser l'écart salarial de genre au sein même de l'entreprise.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, cognitive skills, personality traits, matched worker-firm data, quantile decompositions, Bangladesh
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71 C21 O12
    Date: 2015–12

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