nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒03‒29
four papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Examining the Effects of Five-minute, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Simplified Emotion Focused Mindfulness on Depressive Symptoms: A randomized controlled trial (Japanese) By NOGUCHI Remi; SEKIZAWA Yoichi; SO Mirai; YAMAGUCHI Sosei; SHIMIZU Eiji
  2. Terminal Decline in Well-Being: The Role of Social Orientation By Denis Gerstorf; Christiane A. Hoppmann; Corinna E. Löckenhoff; Frank J. Infurna; Jürgen Schupp; Gert G. Wagner; Nilam Ram
  3. Use It Too Much and Lose It? The Effect of Working Hours on Cognitive Ability By Shinya Kajitani; Colin McKenzie; Kei Sakata
  4. Wage Inequality and Cognitive Skills: Re-Opening the Debate By Stijn Broecke; Glenda Quintini; Marieke Vandeweyer

  1. By: NOGUCHI Remi; SEKIZAWA Yoichi; SO Mirai; YAMAGUCHI Sosei; SHIMIZU Eiji
    Abstract: Objective and Methods: In order to find simple measures to reduce depressive symptoms, we examined the effects of simplified five-minute, internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) and simplified emotion focused mindfulness (sEFM) exercise. Nine hundred and seventy-four people were randomly assigned to the iCBT, sEFM, or waiting list control group. Those in intervention groups did each exercise for five weeks. The main outcome measure was the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. The secondary outcome measures were PHQ-9 and GAD-7. Results: At post-intervention, there were no significant differences between the intervention groups and the control group in CES-D although the difference between the iCBT group and the control group was almost significant ( p =0.05) in favor of iCBT. In PHQ-9, there was a significant difference in favor of sEFM group compared with the control group. These results were not maintained at the six week follow-up. Conclusion: Both iCBT and sEFM have the potential to temporarily reduce depressive symptoms. In order to enhance the effects, some improvements are required such as extending the duration and combining several methodologies.
    Date: 2016–03
  2. By: Denis Gerstorf; Christiane A. Hoppmann; Corinna E. Löckenhoff; Frank J. Infurna; Jürgen Schupp; Gert G. Wagner; Nilam Ram
    Abstract: Well-being development at the end of life is often characterized by steep deteriorations, but individual differences in these terminal declines are substantial and not yet well understood. This study moved beyond the typical consideration of health predictors and explored the role of social orientation and engagement. To do so, we made use of social variables at the behavioral level (self-ratings of social participation) and the motivational level (valuing social and family goals), assessed two to four years before death. We applied single- and multi-phase growth models to up to 27-year annual longitudinal data from 2,910 now deceased participants of the nation-wide German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP; ageat death: M = 74 years; SD = 14; 48% women). Results revealed that leading a socially active life and prioritizing social goals in late life were independently associated with higher late-life well-being, less pronounced late-life decline, and a lateronset of terminal decline. Significant interaction effects suggested that the effects of (reduced) social participation and (lowered) social goals were compounding each other.compound. Findings also indicated that less decline in social participation was associated with shallower rates and a later onset of well-being decline. We found little evidence that valuing family goals is associated with late-life trajectories of well-being. Associations were independent of key correlates of well-being and mortality, including age at death, gender, education, disability, hospital stays, and goals in other life domains. We discuss possible pathways by which maintaining social orientation into late life may help mitigate terminal decline in well-being.
    Keywords: Successful aging, life satisfaction, social support, longitudinal change, development, mortality, German Socio-Economic Panel Study, SOEP
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Shinya Kajitani (Faculty of Economics, Meisei University; and Melbuorne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research); Colin McKenzie (Faculty of Economics, Keio University); Kei Sakata (Faculty of Economics, Ritsumeikan University)
    Abstract: Using data from Wave 12 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, we examine the impact of working hours on the cognitive ability of people living in Australia aged 40 years and older. Three measures of cognitive ability are employed: the Backward Digit Span; the Symbol Digits Modalities; and a 25-item version of the National Adult Reading Test. In order to capture the potential non-linear dependence of cognitive ability on working hours, the model for cognitive ability includes working hours and its square. We deal with the potential endogeneity of the decision of how many hours to work by using the instrumental variable estimation technique. Our findings show that there is a non-linearity in the effect of working hours on cognitive functioning. For working hours up to around 25 hours a week, an increase in working hours has a positive impact on cognitive functioning. However, when working hours exceed 25 hours per week, an increase in working hours has a negative impact on cognition. Interestingly, there is no statistical difference in the effects of working hours on cognitive functioning between men and women. Classification- I10, J22, J26
    Keywords: Cognitive ability, endogeneity, retirement, working hours
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Stijn Broecke; Glenda Quintini; Marieke Vandeweyer
    Abstract: Inequality in the United States is high by international standards, and keeps rising. This is likely to bring significant social as well as economic costs, including lower growth. In this paper, we use the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to revisit the debate on the relative importance of skills in explaining international differences in wage inequality. While simple decomposition exercises suggest that skills only play a very minor role, demand and supply analysis indicates that the relative net supply of skills could explain 29% of the higher top-end wage inequality in the United States. Our analysis also suggests that skills could explain a substantial portion of the racial wage gap, as well as between individuals from different socio-economic backgrounds. Finally, we find little support for the argument that higher wage inequality in the United States may be compensated for by better relative employment outcomes of the low-skilled.
    JEL: I24 J24 J31
    Date: 2016–02

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