nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2017‒12‒18
four papers chosen by

  1. The Effect of Positive Mood on Cooperation in Repeated Interaction By Proto, Eugenio; Sgroi, Daniel; Nazneen, Mahnaz
  2. Unemployment and personality: Are conscientiousness and agreeableness related to employability? By Engelhardt, Carina
  3. Socioemotional Skills, Education, and Health-Related Outcomes of High-Ability Individuals By Peter Savelyev; Kegon Teng Kok Tan
  4. Birthplace diversity, incomes inequality and education gradients in generalised trust: The relevance of cognitive skills in 29 countries By Francesca Borgonovi; Artur Pokropek

  1. By: Proto, Eugenio (University of Warwick, CAGE and IZA); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick, CAGE and Nuffield College, University of Oxford); Nazneen, Mahnaz (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Existing research supports two opposing mechanisms through which positive mood might affect cooperation. Some studies have suggested that positive mood produces more altruistic, open and helpful behavior, fostering cooperation. However, there is contrasting research supporting the idea that positive mood produces more assertiveness and inward-orientation and reduced use of information, hampering cooperation. We find evidence that suggests the second hypothesis dominates when playing the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma. Players in an induced positive mood tend to cooperate less than players in a neutral mood setting. This holds regardless of uncertainty surrounding the number of repetitions or whether pre-play communication has taken place. This finding is consistent with a text analysis of the pre-play communication between players indicating that subjects in a more positive mood use more inward-oriented, more negative and less positive language. To the best of our knowledge we are the first to use text analysis in pre-play communication.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Engelhardt, Carina
    Abstract: This paper shows that unemployment and (some) personality traits are related. Individuals with low scores in the Big Five dimensions conscientiousness and agreeableness have a higher probability of being unemployed, longer unemployment durations, and experience more status changes between employment and unemployment. Results suggest that personality is an important determinant of women’s risk of unemployment, but for men personality is more a matter of job keeping.
    Keywords: Noncognitive skills; Persnonality; Unemployment
    JEL: H53 D31 J64 C38
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: Peter Savelyev (The College of William & Mary); Kegon Teng Kok Tan (University of Rochester)
    Abstract: We use the high IQ Terman sample to estimate relationships between education, socioemotional skills, and health-related outcomes that include health behaviors, lifestyles, and health measures across the lifecycle. By both focusing on a high IQ sample and controlling for IQ in regression models, we mitigate ability bias due to cognitive skill. In addition, we control for detailed personality measures to account for socioemotional skills. We model skills using factor analysis to address measurement error and adopt a powerful stepdown procedure to account for multiple hypothesis testing. We find that among high IQ subjects, education is linked to better health-related outcomes, in contrast to previous evidence. Conscientiousness, Openness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism are linked to various health-related outcomes across the lifecycle. Furthermore, we find that accounting for a comprehensive set of skills, measurement error, and multiple hypothesis testing not only provides greater confidence in several established relationships but also generates novel results.
    Keywords: college education, Big Five, health behavior, lifestyle
    JEL: I12 J24
    Date: 2017–12
  4. By: Francesca Borgonovi (OECD); Artur Pokropek (Joint Research Centre - European Commission)
    Abstract: The paper examines between-country differences in the mechanisms through which education could promote generalised trust using data from 29 countries participating in the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Results indicate that education is strongly associated with generalised trust and that a large part of this association is mediated by individuals’ literacy skills, income and occupational prestige. However, education gradients in levels of generalised trust and in the extent to which they are due to social stratification mechanisms or cognitive skills mechanisms vary across countries. Differences across countries in birthplace diversity and income inequality are correlated with how strongly education is associated with trust in different countries, as well as in the relative magnitude of direct and indirect associations. In particular, the relationship between literacy skills and generalised trust is stronger in the presence of greater birthplace diversity but is weaker in the presence of greater income inequality.
    Date: 2017–12–15

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.