nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒05‒14
six papers chosen by

  1. Emotion vs. cognition - Experimental evidence on cooperation from the 2014 Soccer World Cup By Graf Lambsdorff, Johann; Giamattei, Marcus; Werner, Katharina; Schubert, Manuel
  2. Eye Tracking to Model Attribute Attendance By Chavez, Daniel; Palma, Marco; Collart, Alba J.
  3. Locus of Control and Its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation By Warn N. Lekfuangfu; Nattavudh Powdthavee; Nele Warrinnier; Francesca Cornaglia
  4. Poverty and Children’s Cognitive Trajectories: Evidence from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study By Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  5. Reducing crime and violence : experimental evidence on adult noncognitive investments in Liberia By Blattman,Christopher; Jamison,Julian C; Sheridan,Margaret
  6. Cognitive Skills, Non-Cognitive Skills, and Family Background: Evidence from Sibling Correlations By Anger, Silke; Schnitzlein, Daniel D.

  1. By: Graf Lambsdorff, Johann; Giamattei, Marcus; Werner, Katharina; Schubert, Manuel
    Abstract: We investigate methods for stimulating cooperation by help of a controlled lab-inthefield experiment. This allows us to compare group-related emotional and cognitive stimuli. The experiment was carried out in a sober classroom and in an emotionally loaded environment, a Bavarian beer garden during a public viewing event with a large screen displaying the soccer game. Contrary to widespread belief, we do not find shared and contagious emotions at the public viewing event to advance cooperation. Variations of the game reveal that only cognitive factors, namely the joint attention to a common goal, substantially increase cooperation.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Chavez, Daniel; Palma, Marco; Collart, Alba J.
    Abstract: The literature on choice experiments has been dealing with ways to refine preference elicitation from subjects and predictive power of models. Technological advances such as eye tracking has improved our understanding on how much of the attributes and attribute levels presented to participants is being considered in the decision making process in these kind of experiments. This study investigates subjects’ degree of attendance to attributes and how it influences their choices. The amount of time the subjects spent observing each attribute, relative to all available information on each choice set is used to estimate the attribute attendance. This indicates the revealed attendance to the attributes in the experiment. A simple econometric approach compares the parameter estimates from revealed attribute attendance adjusted models using data from an eye tracking device and a model endogenously inferring the probabilities of using information from each attribute in the choice. The results show that the assumption that participants use all the available information to make their decisions produces significant differences in the parameter estimates, leading to potential bias. The results also illustrate that model fit and predictive power is greatly increased by using revealed attendance levels using eye tracking measures. The most significant improvement however, is to endogenously infer attribute attendance; even more so with revealed attendance indicators.
    Keywords: Choice Experiments, Eye-Tracking, Attribute Attendance, Agribusiness, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, C91, C18,
    Date: 2016–01–22
  3. By: Warn N. Lekfuangfu (Chulalongkorn University and CEP, London School of Economics); Nattavudh Powdthavee (CEP, London School of Economics); Nele Warrinnier (CEP, London School of Economics and University of Leuven); Francesca Cornaglia (Queen Mary University of London and CEP, London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper builds upon Cunha's (2015) subjective rationality model in which parents have a subjective belief about the impact of their investment on the early skill formation of their children. We propose that this subjective belief is determined in part by locus of control (LOC), i.e., the extent to which individuals believe that their actions can influence future outcomes. Consistent with the theory, we show that maternal LOC measured at the 12th week of gestation strongly predicts maternal attitudes towards parenting style, maternal time investments, as well as early and late cognitive outcomes. We also utilize the variation in inputs and outputs by maternal LOC to help improve the specification typically used in the estimation of skill production function parameters.
    Keywords: Locus of control, Parental investment, Human capital accumulation, Early skill formation, ALSPAC
    JEL: J01 I31
    Date: 2016–04
  4. By: Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Existing evidence is inconclusive on whether a socio-economic gradient in children’s cognitive ability widens, narrows or remains stable over time and there is little research on the extent of ‘cognitive mobility’ of children who had a poor start in life compared to their peers. Using data from five sweeps of the United Kingdom (UK) Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) at the ages of 9 months, 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and 11 years, this paper explores the cognitive ability trajectory of children in the bottom decile of the distribution at a given age, and the factors that drive or hinder their progress relative to their peers. The paper analyses children’s risks of moving in and out of the bottom decile of the cognitive ability distribution. The findings indicate a relatively high level of cognitive mobility between ages 3 and 11, especially in the pre-school period (between ages 3 and 5), with children from income-poor households more likely to get ‘trapped’ in the bottom of the age-specific cognitive ability distribution.
    Keywords: cognitive development; household surveys; poverty; social surveys;
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Blattman,Christopher; Jamison,Julian C; Sheridan,Margaret
    Abstract: The paper shows that self-control, time preferences, and values are malleable in adults, and that investments in these skills and preferences reduce crime and violence. The authors recruited criminally-engaged Liberian men and randomized half to eight weeks of group cognitive behavioral therapy, fostering self-regulation, patience, and noncriminal values. They also randomized $200 grants. Cash alone and therapy alone dramatically reduced crime and violence, but effects dissipated within a year. When cash followed therapy, however, crime and violence decreased by as much as 50 percent for at least a year. They hypothesize that cash reinforced therapy's lessons by prolonging practice and self-investment.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Science Education,Educational Sciences,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Disease Control&Prevention
    Date: 2016–04–20
  6. By: Anger, Silke (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Schnitzlein, Daniel D. (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper estimates sibling correlations in cognitive and non-cognitive skills to evaluate the importance of family background for skill formation. Based on a large representative German dataset including IQ test scores and measures of non-cognitive skills, a restricted maximum likelihood model indicates a strong relationship between family background and skill formation. Sibling correlations in non-cognitive skills range from 0.22 to 0.46; therefore, at least one-fifth of the variance in these skills results from shared sibling-related factors. Sibling correlations in cognitive skills are higher than 0.50; therefore, more than half of the inequality in cognition can be explained by shared family background. Comparing these findings with those in the intergenerational skill transmission literature suggests that intergenerational correlations capture only part of the influence of family on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills, as confirmed by decomposition analyses and in line with previous findings on educational and income mobility.
    Keywords: sibling correlations, family background, non-cognitive skills, cognitive skills, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: J24 J62
    Date: 2016–04

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