nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2018‒07‒30
five papers chosen by

  1. Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-Cognitive Characteristics in Rural China By Leight, Jessica; Liu, Elaine M.
  2. Testing at Length If It Is Cognitive or Non-Cognitive By Brunello, Giorgio; Crema, Angela; Rocco, Lorenzo
  3. Use of Extra-School Time and Child Behaviours: Evidence from the UK By Meroni, Elena Claudia; Piazzalunga, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara D.
  4. Too little or too much? Actionable Advice in an Early-Childhood Text Messaging Experiment By Kalena E. Cortes; Hans Fricke; Susanna Loeb; David S. Song
  5. Betriebswirtschaftliche Einsatzmöglichkeiten von Cognitive Computing By Kneule, Andreas

  1. By: Leight, Jessica (American University); Liu, Elaine M. (University of Houston)
    Abstract: The importance of non-cognitive skills in determining long-term human capital and labor market outcomes is widely acknowledged, but relatively little is known about how educational investments by parents may respond to children’s non-cognitive characteristics. This paper evaluates the parental response to non-cognitive variation across siblings in rural Gansu province, China, employing a household fixed effects specification; the non-cognitive measures of interest are defined as the inverse of both externalizing challenges (behavioral problems and aggression) and internalizing challenges (anxiety and withdrawal). The results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity with respect to maternal education. More educated mothers appear to compensate for differences between their children, investing more in a child who exhibits greater non-cognitive deficits, while less educated mothers reinforce these differences. Most importantly, there is evidence that these compensatory investments are associated with the narrowing of non-cognitive deficits over time for children of more educated mothers, while there is no comparable pattern in households with less educated mothers.
    Keywords: non-cognitive characteristics, parental investment, intrahousehold allocation
    JEL: I24 O15 D13
    Date: 2018–06
  2. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); Crema, Angela (University of Padova); Rocco, Lorenzo (University of Padova)
    Abstract: Using Italian data on standardized test scores, we show that the substantial heterogeneity in how performance changes with the position of questions can alter the rank of individuals and classes as the length of the test increases. We examine whether decomposing test scores into initial performance and performance decline allows to separate the influence of cognitive and non-cognitive skills and find that our measure of cognitive skills – the math grade before the test – not only has a dominant influence on initial performance but also affects substantially performance decline.
    Keywords: low stake tests, position of questions, cognitive and non-cognitive skills, Italy
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Meroni, Elena Claudia (European Commission, Joint Research Centre); Piazzalunga, Daniela (University of Verona); Pronzato, Chiara D. (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effects of extra-school activities on children's non-cognitive development, using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK) and focusing on children aged 7-11 years old. We classify the time spent out of school into six homogenous groups of activities, using principal component analysis, and estimate the relationship thereof with five behavioural dimensions drawn from the Strength and Difficulties questionnaire, exploiting the panel structure of the data. Results show the beneficial effects on children's behaviour of sports, school-related activities, time with parents and household chores, while a small detrimental effect of video-screen time is detected. We test the robustness of our estimates against omitted variable bias, and the results are confirmed. We also observe that children from more advantaged backgrounds have easier access to more beneficial activities. Overall, our results suggest that different uses of time may reinforce inequalities across children from different backgrounds.
    Keywords: child time use, extra-curricular activities, Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire, longitudinal data, Millennium Cohort Study, non-cognitive development, omitted variable bias
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2018–06
  4. By: Kalena E. Cortes; Hans Fricke; Susanna Loeb; David S. Song
    Abstract: Text-message based parenting programs have proven successful in improving parental engagement and preschoolers’ literacy development. The tested programs have provided a combination of (a) general information about important literacy skills, (b) actionable advice (i.e., specific examples of such activities), and (c) encouragement. The regularity of the texts – each week throughout the school year – also provided nudges to focus parents’ attention on their children. This study seeks to identify mechanisms of the overall effect of such programs. It investigates whether the actionable advice alone drives previous study’s results and whether additional texts of actionable advice improve program effectiveness. The findings provide evidence that text messaging programs can supply too little or too much information. A single text per week is not as effective at improving parenting practices as a set of three texts that also include information and encouragement, but a set of five texts with additional actionable advice is also not as effective as the three-text approach. The results on children’s literacy development depend strongly on the child’s pre-intervention literacy skills. For children in the lowest quarter of the pre-treatment literacy assessments, only providing one example of an activity decreases literacy scores by 0.15 standard deviations relative to the original intervention. Literacy scores of children in higher quarters are marginally higher with only one tip per week. We find no positive effects of increasing to five texts per week.
    JEL: I21 I24 J18
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Kneule, Andreas
    Abstract: Cognitive Computing ist weder in der akademischen noch in der unternehmerischen Welt eindeutig definiert. Das Ziel der Arbeit ist daher die Beantwortung folgender Fragen: 1. Welche Einsatz- und Anwendungsmöglichkeiten bietet Cognitive Computing einem in Deutschland ansässigen Unternehmen? 2. Wie kann Cognitive Computing betriebswirtschaftlich sinnvoll eingesetzt werden? 3. Welche Voraussetzungen müssen für den Einsatz erfüllt sein?
    JEL: M14 O32
    Date: 2018

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