nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2017‒10‒29
three papers chosen by

  1. Broadband Internet, Digital Temptations, and Sleep By Osea Giuntella
  2. Cognitive Skills and Intra-Household Allocation of Schooling By Jorge García Hombrados
  3. Neonatal Health of Parents and Cognitive Development of Children By Kreiner, Claus T.; Sievertsen, Hans Henrik

  1. By: Osea Giuntella
    Abstract: The spread of high-speed Internet epitomizes the digital revolution, affecting several aspectsof our life. Using German panel data, we test whether the availability of broadbandInternet influences fertility choices in a low-fertility setting, which is well-known for the difficultyto combine work and family life. We exploit a strategy devised by Falck et al. (2014) toobtain causal estimates of the impact of broadband on fertility. We find positive effects of highspeedInternet availability on the fertility of high-educated women aged 25 and above. Effectsare not statistically significant both for men, low-educated women, and under 25. We alsoshow that broadband access significantly increases the share of women reporting teleworkingor part-time working. Furthermore, we find positive effects on time spent with children andoverall life satisfaction. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that high-speed Internetallows high-educated women to conciliate career and motherhood, which may promotefertility with a “digital divide†. At the same time, higher access to information on the risksand costs of early pregnancy and childbearing may explain the negative effects on youngeradults.
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Jorge García Hombrados (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Using household data from two districts in northern Ghana, this study examines how cognitive skills affect the allocation of schooling across the children of a household. The analysis reveals that relative to the rest of the siblings in the household, an increase of one standard deviation in the score of cognitive tests increases by 0.128-0.178 the number of years of schooling attended in the following three years, depending on the cognitive test used. These results are interpreted as empirical evidence for the main prediction of the theoretical model for intra-household allocation of resources developed in the seminal paper A Treatise on the Family (Becker, 1981): parents reinforce cognitive differences between siblings through allocating more human capital resources to the more able siblings. The study also explores whether the effect of cognitive skills on the allocation of schooling across siblings depends on the gender of the child or on household level characteristics. On the one hand, I find weak evidence suggesting that the effect of cognitive skills on schooling investments seems larger for boys than for girls although the results are not conclusive. On the other hand, the analysis suggests that polygyny, household size and household wealth do not affect relevantly the magnitude of this effect.
    Keywords: cognitive skills; investments in education; intra-household allocation of resources
    JEL: D13 I21
    Date: 2017–10
  3. By: Kreiner, Claus T.; Sievertsen, Hans Henrik
    Abstract: This paper documents a strong relationship between birth endowments of parents and the cognitive development of their children. The association between maternal birth weight and child school test scores corresponds to 80 percent of the association between the child's own birth weight and test scores (both in univariate and multivariate settings). We find a strong relationship, even when controlling for family differences, by looking at birth weight variation between sisters and the test score outcomes of their children, and when controlling for parental education and economic resources. Child test scores are also strongly related to paternal birth weight. To assess external validity, we replicate recent results from the US on the relationship between child birth weight and test scores. Our intergenerational results suggest that inequality in birth endowments may be important for inequality in key outcomes of the next generation.
    Keywords: human capital formation; intergenerational dependency; Neonatal health
    JEL: I12 J13 J24
    Date: 2017–10

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