nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2018‒01‒08
two papers chosen by

  1. Some (Mis)facts about 2D:4D, Preferences and Personality By Judit Alonso; Roberto Di Paolo; Giovanni Ponti; Marcello Sartarelli
  2. Deadlines and Cognitive Limitations By Steffen Altmann; Christian Traxler; Philipp Weinschenk

  1. By: Judit Alonso (Universidad de Alicante); Roberto Di Paolo (Universidad de Alicante); Giovanni Ponti (Universidad de Alicante); Marcello Sartarelli (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)
    Abstract: We study how the ratio between the length of the second and fourth digit (2D:4D) correlates with choices in risk and social preferences elicitation tasks by building a large dataset from six experimental projects with more than 900 subjects. We find that social preferences are weakly significantly lower when 2D:4D is above the median value and, in addition, we find that they vary significantly with cognitive ability. When we look at risk preferences, we find that a high 2D:4D is not significantly associated with the frequency of subjects’ risky choices. Finally, when we look at personality traits, we find no significant association, except for some significant association with individual questions used to obtain personality proxies.
    Keywords: 2D:4D, cognitive re¿ection, gender, personality, risk, social preferences
    JEL: C91 C92 D8
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Steffen Altmann; Christian Traxler; Philipp Weinschenk
    Abstract: This paper studies the interplay between deadlines and cognitive limitations. We analyze an agent’s decision to complete a one-off task under a deadline. Postponing the task can be beneficial for the agent; missing the deadline, however, leads to a drop in the agent’s rewards. If the agent exhibits cognitive limitations, postponing increases the risk of becoming inattentive and failing to complete the task in time. Our framework provides a rich set of predictions on the behavioral implications of deadlines. We test these predictions in a field experiment at a dental clinic, in which we exogenously vary deadlines and rewards for arranging check-up appointments. The empirical results underline the behavioral relevance of cognitive limitations. Imposing relatively tight deadlines induces patients to act earlier and at a persistently higher frequency than without a deadline. Evidence from a follow-up experiment and complementary surveys supports the notion that deadlines may serve as a powerful instrument when individuals’ cognitive capacity is limited.
    Keywords: deadlines, cognitive limitations, limited memory, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D03 D91
    Date: 2017

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