nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2017‒04‒16
five papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Let the Girls Learn! It is not Only about Math… It's about Gender Social Norms By Nollenberger, Natalia; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria
  2. Smog in our brains: Gender differences in the impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance in China: By Chen, Xi; Zhang, Xiaobo; Zhang, Xin
  3. Can Gender Differences in Distributional Preferences Explain Gender Gaps in Competition? By Mani, Subha; Dasgupta, Utteeyo; Sharma, Smriti; Singhal, Saurabh
  4. A Study of the Triggers of Conflict and Emotional Reactions By Caldara, Michael; McBride, Michael; McCarter, Matthew; Sheremeta, Roman
  5. (How) Do Non-Cognitive Skills Programs Improve Adolescent School Achievement? Experimental Evidence By Pedro S. Martins

  1. By: Nollenberger, Natalia (IE University); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: Using PISA test scores from 11,527 second-generation immigrants coming from 35 different countries of ancestry and living in 9 host countries, we find that the positive effects of country-of-ancestry gender social norms on girls' math test scores relative to those of boys: (1) expand to other subjects (namely reading and science); (2) are shaped by beliefs on women's political empowerment and economic opportunity; and (3) are driven by parents' influencing their children's (especially their girls') preferences. Our evidence further suggest that these findings are driven by cognitive skills, suggesting that social gender norms affect parent's expectations on girls' academic knowledge relative to that of boys, but not on other attributes for success--such as non-cognitive skills. Taken together, our results highlight the relevance of general (as opposed to math-specific) gender stereotypes on the math gender gap, and suggest that parents' gender social norms shape youth's test scores by transmitting preferences for cognitive skills.
    Keywords: gender gap in math, reading and science, immigrants, beliefs and preferences, cognitive and non-cognitive skills, culture and institutions
    JEL: I21 I24 J16 Z13
    Date: 2017–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10625&r=neu
  2. By: Chen, Xi; Zhang, Xiaobo; Zhang, Xin
    Abstract: While there is a large body of literature on the negative health effects of air pollution, there is much less written about its effects on cognitive performance for the whole population. This paper studies the effects of contemporaneous and cumulative exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance based on a nationally representative survey in China. By merging a longitudinal sample at the individual level with local air-quality data according to the exact dates and counties of interviews, we find that contemporaneous and cumulative exposure to air pollution impedes both verbal and math scores of survey subjects. Interestingly, the negative effect is stronger for men than for women. Specifically, the gender difference is more salient among the old and less educated in both verbal and math tests.
    Keywords: CHINA; EAST ASIA; ASIA, gender; pollution; air pollution, cognitive performance; gender difference; human capital, I24 Education and Inequality; Q53 Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Noise, Hazardous Waste, Solid Waste, Recycling; Q51 Valuation of Environmental Effects; J16 Economics of Gender, Non-labor Discrimination,
    Date: 2017
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1619&r=neu
  3. By: Mani, Subha (Fordham University); Dasgupta, Utteeyo (Fordham University); Sharma, Smriti (UNU-WIDER); Singhal, Saurabh (UNU-WIDER)
    Abstract: We design an experiment to examine whether egalitarian preferences, and in particular, behindness aversion as well as preference for favorable inequality affect competitive choices differently among males and females. We find that selection into competitive environments is: (a) negatively related to egalitarian preferences, with smaller negative impacts of being egalitarian on females' choice of the tournament wage scheme, and (b) negatively associated with behindness aversion and positively related to preference for favorable inequality, with significant gender differences in the impact of these distributional preferences. Once we allow for the impact of distributional preferences, behavioral, personality, and socioeconomic characteristics to vary by gender, the pure gender effect is explained away. We find that gender gaps in distributional preferences along with selected personality traits are the most relevant explanations for gender differences in willingness to compete. This is an important result as these characteristics are per se malleable and amenable to policy interventions.
    Keywords: competitiveness, distributional preferences, gender differences
    JEL: C91 D03 D63 J16
    Date: 2017–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10627&r=neu
  4. By: Caldara, Michael; McBride, Michael; McCarter, Matthew; Sheremeta, Roman
    Abstract: We study three triggers of conflict and explore their resultant emotional reactions in a laboratory experiment. Economists suggest that the primary trigger of conflict is monetary incentives. Social psychologists suggest that conflicts are often triggered by fear. Finally, evolutionary biologists suggest that a third trigger is uncertainty about opponent’s desire to cause harm. Consistent with the predictions from economics, social psychology, and evolutionary biology, we find that conflict originates from all three triggers. The three triggers differently impact the frequency of conflict, but not the intensity. Also, we find that the frequency and intensity of conflict decrease positive emotions and increase negative emotions, and that conflict impacts negative emotions more than positive emotions.
    Keywords: conflict, incentives, fear, uncertainty, laboratory experiment, reverse dictator game, joy of destruction game
    JEL: C72 C91 D74
    Date: 2017–03–30
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:78049&r=neu
  5. By: Pedro S. Martins
    Abstract: Non-cognitive skills programs may be an important policy option to improve the academic outcomes of adolescents. In this paper, we evaluate experimentally the EPIS program, which is based on relatively short bi-weekly individual or small-group non-cognitive mediation meetings with students selected based on their low school achievement. Our RCT estimates, covering nearly 3,000 7th- and 8th-grade students across over 50 schools and two years, indicate that the program increases the probability of progression by 11\% to 22\%. The effects are stronger amongst older students, girls, and in language subjects, and when the program mediator is of the same gender as the student.
    Keywords: Exports of services, unemployment, labour reforms
    JEL: I20 I24 J08
    Date: 2017–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cgs:wpaper:81&r=neu

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