nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒03‒10
four papers chosen by

  1. Arousal and Economic Decision Making By Salar Jahedi; Cary Deck; Dan Ariely
  2. Shrieking Sirens. Schemata, Scripts, and Social Norms: How Change Occurs By Cristina Bicchieri; Peter McNally; ;
  3. Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0-2 for girls By Fort, Margherita; Ichino, Andrea; Zanella, Giulio
  4. If You Don't Snooze You Lose: Evidence on Health and Weight By Giuntella, Osea; Mazzonna, Fabrizio

  1. By: Salar Jahedi (RAND Corporation); Cary Deck (University of Arkansas, University of Alaska-Anchorage, Chapman University); Dan Ariely (Duke University)
    Abstract: Previous experiments have found that subjecting participants to cognitive load leads to poorer decision making, consistent with dual-system models of behavior. Rather than taxing the cognitive system, this paper reports the results of an experiment that takes a complementary approach: arousing the emotional system. The results indicate that exposure to arousing visual stimuli as compared to neutral images has a negligible impact on performance in arithmetic tasks, impatience, risk taking in the domain of losses, and snack choice although we nd that arousal modestly increases in risk-taking in the gains domain and increases susceptibility to anchoring e ects. We nd the ef- fect of arousal on decision making to be smaller and less consistent then the e ect of increased cognitive load for the same tasks.
    Keywords: Dual System, Sexual Arousal, Impatience, Risk Taking, Behavioral Economics
    JEL: C91 D03 D81
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Cristina Bicchieri; Peter McNally (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania); ;
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal relationships among scripts, schemata, and social norms. The authors examine how social norms are triggered by particular schemata and are grounded in scripts. Just as schemata are embedded in a network, so too are social norms, and they can be primed through spreading activation. Moreover, the expectations that allow a social norm’s existence are inherently grounded in particular scripts and schemata. Using interventions that have targeted gender norms, open defecation, female genital cutting, and other collective issues as examples, the authors argue that ignoring the cognitive underpinnings of a social norm doom interventions to failure.
    Keywords: script, schema, norms, social norms, gender, interventions
    JEL: Z13 Z18 C99
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Fort, Margherita; Ichino, Andrea; Zanella, Giulio
    Abstract: Exploiting admission thresholds in a Regression Discontinuity Design, we study the causal effects of daycare at age 0-2 on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes at age 8-14. One additional month in daycare reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.5% of a standard deviation). Effects for conscientiousness are small and imprecisely estimated. Psychologists suggest that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, which should be particularly relevant for girls who are more capable than boys of exploiting cognitive stimuli at an early age. In line with this interpretation, losses for girls are larger and more significant, especially in affuent families.
    Keywords: child development; childcare; cognitive skills; daycare; non-cognitive skills
    JEL: H75 I20 I28 J13
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Giuntella, Osea (University of Oxford); Mazzonna, Fabrizio (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana)
    Abstract: Most economic models consider sleeping as a pre-determined and homogeneous constraint on individuals' time allocation neglecting its potential effects on health and human capital. Several medical studies provide evidence of important associations between sleep deprivation and health outcomes suggesting a large impact on health care systems and individual productivity. Yet, there is little causal analysis of the effects of sleep duration. This paper uses a spatial regression discontinuity design to identify the effects of sleep on health status, weight, and cognitive abilities. Our results suggest that delaying morning work schedules and school start times may have non-negligible effects on health.
    Keywords: health, obesity, sleep deprivation, time use, regression discontinuity
    JEL: I12 J22 C31
    Date: 2016–02

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.