nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2016‒07‒02
three papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Cognitive Ability and Games of School Choice By Christian, Basteck; Marco, Mantovani
  2. (Belief in) life after death impacts the utility of life before it - a difference in preferences or an artefact? By Michal Jakubczyk; Dominik Golicki; Maciej Niewada
  3. Because of you I did not give up - How peers affect perseverance By Gerhards, Leonie; Gravert, Christina

  1. By: Christian, Basteck; Marco, Mantovani
    Abstract: We take school admission mechanisms to the lab to test whether the manipulable Boston mechanism disadvantages students of lower cognitive ability and whether this leads to ability segregation across schools. Results show this is the case: lower ability participants receive a lower average payoff and are over-represented at the worst school. Under the strategy-proof Deferred Acceptance mechanism, payoff differences between high and low ability participants are reduced, and distributions by ability across schools are harmonized. Hence, we find support for the argument that a move to strategy-proof mechanisms would “level the playing field†. However, we document a trade-off between equality and efficiency in the choice of school admission mechanisms since average payoffs are larger under Boston than under Deferred Acceptance.
    Keywords: laboratory experiment, school choice, strategy-proofness, cognitive ability, mechanism design
    JEL: C78 C91 D82 I24
    Date: 2016–06–21
  2. By: Michal Jakubczyk; Dominik Golicki; Maciej Niewada
    Abstract: In most of the religions the preservation of own, God-given, life is obligatory. The time-trade-off method (TTO) forces to voluntarily forego life years. We verify if this is a problem for the religious and how it impacts the TTO results. We used the data from the only EQ-5D valuation in Poland (2008, three-level, 321 respondents, 23 states each) a very religious (mostly catholic) country. We used the belief in afterlife question to measure the religiosity on two levels: strong (definitely yes) and some (also rather yes), both about a third of the sample. The religious on average (yet, not statistically significant) spend more time doing TTO and consider it more difficult. The religious more often are non-traders: odds ratio (OR)=1.97 (strongly), OR=1.55 (rather); and less often consider a state worse-than-death: OR=0.67 (strongly), OR=0.81 (rather). These associations are statistically significant (p
    Keywords: Health-related quality of life, Utility, Preference elicitation, Time trade-off, Religion, Life after death
    JEL: I10 C25 N30 I31
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Gerhards, Leonie (Department of Economics, University of Hamburg); Gravert, Christina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Various empirical papers have shown that peers affect productivity and behavior in the workplace. However, the mechanisms through which peers influence each other are still largely unknown. In this laboratory experiment we study a situation in which individuals might look at their peers' behavior to motivate themselves to endure in a task that requires perseverance. We test the impact of unidirectional peer effects under individual monetary incentives, controlling for ability and tactics. We find that peers significantly increase their observers' perseverance, while knowing about being observed does not significantly affect behavior. In a second experiment we investigate the motives to self-select into the role of an observing or an observant subject and what kind of peers individuals deliberately choose. Our findings provide first insights on the perception of peer situations by individuals and new empirical evidence on how peer groups emerge.
    Keywords: grit; perseverance; laboratory experiment; peer effects; real effort
    JEL: C91 D03 J24 M50
    Date: 2016–06

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