nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2017‒10‒22
five papers chosen by

  1. Understanding the association between stunting and child development in low- and middle-income countries: Next steps for research and intervention By Jessica M. Perkins; Rockli Kim; Aditi Krishna; Mark McGovern; Victor M. Aguayo; S.V. Subramanian
  2. Motor (But Not Auditory) Attention Affects Syntactic Choice By Mikhail Pokhoday; Christoph Scheepers; Yury Shtyrov; Andriy Myachykov
  3. Subjective and physiological measures of well-being: an exploratory analysis using birth-cohort data By Andrén, Daniela; Clark, Andrew E; D´Ambrosio, Conchita; Karlsson, Sune; Pettersson, Nicklas
  4. Revealed Preferences in a Sequential Prisoners' Dilemma: A Horse-Race Between Five Utility Functions By Topi Miettinen; Michael Kosfeld; Ernst Fehr; Jörgen W. Weibull
  5. Barriers to the development of temperate agroforestry as an example of agroecological innovation: Mainly a matter of cognitive lock-in? By Line Louah; Marjolein Visser; Alice Blaimont; Charles De Cannière

  1. By: Jessica M. Perkins; Rockli Kim; Aditi Krishna; Mark McGovern; Victor M. Aguayo; S.V. Subramanian
    Abstract: Stunting, caused by experiences of chronic nutritional deprivation, affects approximately 25% of children under age five globally (i.e., 156 million children). In this review, evidence of a relationship between stunting and child development in low- and middle-income countries is summarized, and issues for further research are discussed. We focus on studies that measured low height-for-age among children less than 5 years old as the exposure and gross/fine motor skills, psychosocial competencies, cognitive abilities, or schooling and learning milestones as the outcomes. This review highlights three key findings. First, the variability in child development tools and metrics used among studies and the differences in the timing and frequency of the assessments complicate comparisons across study findings. Second, considerable evidence from across many countries supports an association between stunting and poor child development despite methodological differences and heterogeneity in the magnitude of associations. Further, effect sizes differ by developmental domain with greater associations shown for cognitive/ schooling outcomes. How stunting influences child development, which domains of child development are more affected, and how the various domains of child development influence one another require further experimental research to test causal pathways. Finally, there is mixed evidence of the additive effect of nutrition and stimulation interventions on child development. However, understanding best methods for improving child developmental outcomes - either through nutrition programs or through integrated nutrition and psychosocial stimulation programs (or nutrition and other program interventions) - is a key area of further inquiry. Given that nearly 40% of children under age five suffer from loss of developmental potential - for which stunting is likely one of the key risk factors - reductions in stunting could have tremendous implications for child development and human capital formation, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
    Keywords: Child development; Cognition; Stunting; Undernutrition; Gross motor; Fine motor; Psychosocial skills; Cognitive ability; Height
    JEL: I10 J10
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Mikhail Pokhoday (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Christoph Scheepers (University of Glasgow); Yury Shtyrov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Andriy Myachykov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Understanding the determinants of syntactic choice in sentence production is a salient topic in psycholinguistics. Existing evidence suggests that syntactic choice results from an interplay between linguistic and non-linguistic factors, and a speaker’s attention to the elements of a described event represents one such factor. Whereas multimodal accounts of attention suggest a role for different modalities in this process, existing studies examining attention effects in syntactic choice are primarily based on visual cueing paradigms. Hence, it remains unclear whether attentional effects on syntactic choice are limited to the visual modality or may be subject to cross-modal interaction. The current study addressed this issue. Native English participants viewed and described line drawings of simple transitive events while their attention was directed to the location of the agent or the patient of the depicted event by means of either an auditory (monaural beep) or a motor (unilateral key press) lateral cue. Our results show an effect of cue location, with participants producing more passive-voice descriptions in the patient-cued conditions. Crucially, this cue location effect emerged in the motor-cue but not in the auditory-cue condition, as confirmed by a reliable interaction between cue location (agent vs. patient) and cue type (auditory vs. motor). Our data suggest that attentional effects on the speaker’s syntactic choices are modality dependent and appear to be more prominent in the visuomotor domain than in the auditory domain
    Keywords: visual, auditory, motor, attention, sentence production, syntactic choice, priming
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Andrén, Daniela (Örebro University School of Business); Clark, Andrew E (Paris School of Economics (PSE)); D´Ambrosio, Conchita (University of Luxembourg); Karlsson, Sune (Örebro University School of Business); Pettersson, Nicklas (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: We use a rich longitudinal data set following a cohort of Swedish women from age 10 to 49 to analyse the effects of birth and early-life conditions on adulthood outcomes. These latter include both well-being and the stress hormone cortisol. Employment and marital status are important adult determinants of well-being. Log family income and absence from school also predict adult well-being, although their importance falls when controlling for adult and birth characteristics. Among the birth characteristics, we find that high birth weight (>4.3kg) affects adult well-being. We predict the level of adult cortisol only poorly, and suggest that the relationship between life satisfaction and cortisol is non-monotonic: both high and low cortisol are negatively correlated with life satisfaction. The results from an OLS life satisfaction regression and a multinomial logit of high or low cortisol (as compared to medium) are more similar to each other.
    Keywords: life satisfaction; cortisol; birth-cohort data; adult; child and birth outcomes; multivariate imputation by chained equations
    JEL: A12 D60 I31
    Date: 2017–10–12
  4. By: Topi Miettinen; Michael Kosfeld; Ernst Fehr; Jörgen W. Weibull
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate behavior and beliefs in a sequential prisoner’s dilemma. Each subject had to choose an action as first-mover and a conditional action as second-mover. All subjects also had to state their beliefs about others’ second-mover choices. We find that subjects’ beliefs about others’ choices are fairly accurate on average. Using the elicited beliefs, we compare the explanatory power of a few current models of social and moral preferences. The data show clear differences in explanatory power between the preference models, both without and with control for the number of free parameters. The best-performing models explain about 80% of observed behavior. We use the estimated preference parameters to identify biases in subjects’ expectations. We find a consensus bias (whereby subjects believe others behave like themselves) and a certain optimism (whereby subjects overestimate probabilities for favorable outcomes), the former being about twice as strong as the second.
    Keywords: cooperation, prisoners’ dilemma, other-regarding preferences, categorical imperative, consensus effect, optimism
    JEL: C72 C90 D03 D84
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Line Louah; Marjolein Visser; Alice Blaimont; Charles De Cannière
    Abstract: Agroforestry (AF) is promoted as an environmentally sound farming practice to address the pressing challenges of meeting a rising global demand for agricultural commodities while conserving biodiversity. Although AF played an important role in European farming in the past, reintroducing the planting of trees in fields is a radical innovation in the modern context, and is, initially, a researcher's idea. This paper investigates stakeholders’ perspectives on modern AF in two contrasting sub-regions of southern Belgium (Wallonia). Using Q methodology to identify patterns of subjectivity, we found that the conversation splits into three idealised-types of discourse that reflect different farming styles. Only one of the three discourses is in favour of AF. The results indicate that the paradigm type (holism vs. reductionism) underlying each discourse is a major factor that influences stakeholders’ position on AF. The main barriers hampering mainstreaming of AF seem cognitive in nature, and are related to the level of ecological knowledge. By exploring the ‘cognitive unlocking process’, our Q methodological study led to the identification of two readily available strategies to scale up AF: (1) ecological education and (2) social learning within multi-actor innovation networks. Such networks could foster on-farm innovation development and research, in which the farmer is an expert at the same level as the researcher. While this study focuses on the development of AF, the findings could be extrapolated to other agroecological innovations.
    Keywords: Agroecology; Agroforestry; Qmethodology; Stakeholder perception
    Date: 2017–09

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