nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2017‒08‒20
two papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. School Starting Age and Cognitive Development By Elizabeth Dhuey; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth
  2. Behavioral Characterizations of Naiveté for Time-Inconsistent Preferences By David S. Ahn; Ryota Iijima; Todd Sarver

  1. By: Elizabeth Dhuey; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth
    Abstract: We present evidence of a positive relationship between school starting age and children’s cognitive development from age 6 to 15 using a regression discontinuity design and large-scale population-level birth and school data from the state of Florida. We estimate effects of being relatively old for grade (being born in September versus August) that are remarkably stable – always just around 0.2 SD difference in test scores – across a wide range of heterogeneous groups, based on maternal education, poverty at birth, race/ethnicity, birth weight, gestational age, and school quality. While the September-August difference in kindergarten readiness is dramatically different by subgroup, by the time students take their first exams, the heterogeneity in estimated effects effectively disappears. We document substantial variation in compensatory behaviors targeted towards young for grade children. While the more affluent families tend to redshirt their children, young for grade children from less affluent families are more likely to be retained in grades prior to testing. School district practices regarding retention and redshirting are correlated with improved outcomes for the groups less likely to use those remediation approaches (i.e., retention in the case of more-affluent families and redshirting in the case of less-affluent families.) We also study college and juvenile detention outcomes using administrative data from a large Florida school district, and show that being an older age at school entry increases children’s college attainment and reduces the likelihood of being incarcerated for juvenile crime.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2017–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23660&r=neu
  2. By: David S. Ahn (University of California, Berkeley); Ryota Iijima (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Todd Sarver (Duke University)
    Abstract: We introduce and characterize a recursive model of dynamic choice that accommodates naiveté about present bias. The model incorporates costly self-control in the sense of Gul and Pesendorfer (2001) to overcome the technical hurdles of the Strotz representation. The important novel condition is an axiom for naiveté. We first introduce appropriate definitions of absolute and comparative naiveté for a simple two-period model, and explore their implications for the costly self-control model. We then extend this definition for infinite-horizon environments, and discuss some of the subtleties involved with the extension. Incorporating the definition of absolute naiveté as an axiom, we characterize a recursive representation of naive quasi-hyperbolic discounting with self-control for an individual who is jointly overoptimistic about her present-bias factor and her ability to resist instant gratification. We study the implications of our proposed comparison of naiveté for the parameters of the recursive representation. Finally, we discuss the obstacles that preclude more general notions of naiveté, and illuminate the impossibility of a definition that simultaneously incorporates both random choice and costly self-control. devices.
    Keywords: Naive, Sophisticated, Self-control, Quasi-hyperbolic discounting
    JEL: D11 D91
    Date: 2017–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:2099&r=neu

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