nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
three papers chosen by

  1. Food Anticipation Enhances Cognitive Ability of Overweight and Obese in the Presence of Hunger By Segovia, Michelle S.; Palma, Marco A.; Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M.
  2. Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production By Daniel P. Gross
  3. Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden By Karlsson, Martin; Schwarz, Nina; Bhalotra, Sonia; Nilsson, Therese

  1. By: Segovia, Michelle S.; Palma, Marco A.; Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M.
    Abstract: By randomizing the order in which participants perform a cognitive test and a food choice task in a controlled experiment, we show that overweight and obese participants exhibit an anticipatory food reward effect. Eye tracking data revealed that temptation, in the form of visual attention, and emotional arousal was higher under low cognitive resources. The anticipation of food reward helped enhance the mental resources of overweight and obese individuals and improve their performance in a cognitive test. However, there was no anticipation reward among normal weight participants. Our results support the notion that rewarding processes underlying food intake present similar patterns to those behind other forms of addiction.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2018–01–10
  2. By: Daniel P. Gross
    Abstract: Though fundamental to innovation and essential to many industries and occupations, individual creativity has received limited attention as an economic behavior and has historically proven difficult to study. This paper studies the incentive effects of competition on individuals' creative production. Using a sample of commercial logo design competitions, and a novel, content-based measure of originality, I find that intensifying competition induces agents to produce original, untested ideas over tweaking their earlier work, but heavy competition drives them to stop investing altogether. The results yield lessons for the management of creative workers and for the implementation of competitive procurement mechanisms for innovation.
    JEL: D81 M52 M55 O31 O32
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Karlsson, Martin; Schwarz, Nina; Bhalotra, Sonia; Nilsson, Therese
    Abstract: We estimate impacts of exposure to an infant health intervention trialled in Sweden in the early 1930s using purposively digitised birth registers linked to school catalogues, census files and tax records to generate longitudinal data that track individuals through four stages of the life-course, from birth to age 71. This allows us to measure impacts on childhood health and cognitive skills at ages 7 and 10, educational choice during young adulthood, employment, earnings and occupation at age 36{40, and pension income at age 71. Leveraging quasi-random variation in eligibility by birth date and birth parish, we estimate that an additional year of exposure was associated with substantial increases in earnings and (public sector) employment among women, alongside no improvements for men. Earnings gains for women were concentrated in the top quintile of the distribution. The earnings results appear to be related to the intervention having made it more likely that primary school test scores for girls were in the top quintile of the distribution and, related, that they attended secondary school. The greater investments of women in education are consistent with their comparative advantage in cognitive tasks, but opportunities are also likely to have played a role. Our sample cohorts were exposed to a massive expansion of the Swedish welfare state, which created unprecedented employment opportunities for women.
    Keywords: Infant health,early life interventions,cognitive skills,education,earnings,occupational choice,programme evaluation,Sweden
    JEL: I15 I18 H41
    Date: 2018

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