nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒06‒09
four papers chosen by

  1. Status Traps By Steven N. Durlauf; Andros Kourtellos; Chih Ming Tan
  2. The causal effects of an intensified curriculum on cognitive skills: Evidence from a natural experiment By Andrietti, Vincenzo
  3. Know when to fold 'em: The grit factor By Larbi Alaoui; Christian Fons-Rosen
  4. Job Performance: Structural Modelling the Relationship of Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership By Nurul Hudani Md. Nawi; Redzuan Ma'rof; Balan Rathakrshnan; Rajiv Gandhi

  1. By: Steven N. Durlauf (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, USA); Andros Kourtellos (Department of Economics, University of Cyprus, Cyprus; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy); Chih Ming Tan (Department of Economics, University of North Dakota, USA; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore nonlinearities in the intergenerational mobility process using threshold regression models. We uncover evidence of threshold effects in children’s outcomes based on parental education and cognitive and non-cognitive skills as well as their interaction with offspring characteristics. We interpret these thresholds as organizing dynastic earnings processes into “status traps”. Status traps, unlike poverty traps, are not absorbing states. Rather, they reduce the impact of favorable shocks for disadvantaged children and so inhibit upward mobility in ways not captured by linear models. Our evidence of status traps is based on three complementary datasets; i.e., the PSID, the NLSY, and US administrative data at the commuting zone level, which together suggest that the threshold-like mobility behavior we observe in the data is robust for a range of outcomes and contexts.
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Andrietti, Vincenzo
    Abstract: This paper exploits a unique universal educational policy - implemented in most German states between 2001 and 2008 - that compressed the academic-track high school curriculum into a (one year) shorter time span, thereby increasing time of instruction and share of curriculum taught per grade. Using 2000-2012 PISA data and a quasi-experimental approach, I estimate the impacts of this intensified curriculum on cognitive skills. I find robust evidence that the reform improved, on average, the reading, mathematical, and scientific literacy skills acquired by academic-track ninth graders upon treatment. However, I also provide evidence that the reform widened the gap in student performance with respect to parental migration background and student ability. Finally, although the reform did not affect, on average, high school grade retention, I find that the latter increased for students with parental migration background. Taken together, these findings suggest that moving to a compressed high-school curriculum did not compromise and benefited, on average, students' cognitive skills. However, they also raise equity concerns that policy-makers should be aware of.
    Keywords: G8 reform,Intensified curriculum,Instruction time,Learning intensity,Cognitive skills,Academic-track high school,Grade retention,Remedial education
    JEL: I21 I28 D04
    Date: 2016–04–01
  3. By: Larbi Alaoui; Christian Fons-Rosen
    Abstract: This paper investigates the way different sides of grit in uence behavior. We show that, in addition to grit's well-known upside in achieving economic success, it has a potential downside too. Specifically, we conduct an experiment using a game of luck and elicit each individual's intended plan of action and compare it to actual choice. We find that grittier individuals have a higher tendency to overplay. We then split grit into two new categories, tenacity and diligence, and obtain that tenacity alone captures the difficulty in respecting ex-ante preferences when this means accepting defeat. Both components of grit correlate with lower self-reported procrastination problems and higher self-esteem, with diligence being the more beneficial trait. Overall, the results indicate that diligence has a clear upside while tenacity has both the upside of not giving up and the downside of not letting go.
    Keywords: noncognitive skills; grit; tenacity; diligence.
    JEL: C91 D03 I20
    Date: 2016–04
  4. By: Nurul Hudani Md. Nawi (University Malaysia Sabah); Redzuan Ma'rof (Universiti Putra Malaysia); Balan Rathakrshnan (Universiti Malaysia Sabah); Rajiv Gandhi (National Institute of Youth Development)
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate the effects of emotional intelligence and the impact of transformational leadership behaviour towards job performance. Sample of the study was comprised of 306 (Male =132; Female =174) public school personnel as leaders in their respective environments, such as principal, senior administrative assistant, senior assistant student affairs (HEM), senior assistant curriculum, the heads of the four departments set by the Ministry of Education i.e. Heads of Humanities and Religion, Science and Math, English, and Engineering & vocational as well as members of general committee from High Performance Schools (SBT) in Malaysia. Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI), Transformational Leadership Behaviour (Multi-factor leadership questionnaire) (MLQ) and job performance were used to measure EI, transformational leadership and job performance accordingly. The structural equation modelling (SEM, a multivariate technique, via Analysis of Moment Structure (AMOS) computer software version 20.0 was utilised to empirically test and estimate the hypothesised relationship between constructs. Results revealed that emotional intelligence is positively related to transformational leadership behaviour, and transformational leadership behaviour has a significant and positive relationship with job performance. Among the two predictors, transformational leadership was found to have a greater direct impact on job performance and exist direct impact of emotional intelligence was found in this empirical analysis on job performance. On a practical note, the assessment of psychological constructs in school setting e.g.; EQ and leadership behaviour could possibly assist in enhancing the work performances in delivering huge benefits to the society especially in the educational contexts. Finding of the present research can help to improve overall organizational behaviour and productivity resulting in optimum service delivery to the stakeholders within educational system in Malaysia.
    Keywords: Emotional intelligence, personality traits, leadership behaviour, job performance, educator leader.

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.