nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2019‒02‒25
three papers chosen by

  1. Use of extra-school time and child behaviour By Elena Claudia Meroni; Daniela Piazzalunga; Chiara Pronzato
  2. Early School Exposure, Test Scores, and Noncognitive Outcomes By Thomas Cornelissen; Christian Dustmann
  3. Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries By Schady, Norbert; Behrman, Jere R.; Caridad Araujo, Maria; Azuero, Rodrigo; Bernal, Raquel; Bravo, David; López Bóo, Florencia; Macours, Karen; Marshall, Daniela; Paxson, Christina; Vakis, Renos

  1. By: Elena Claudia Meroni; Daniela Piazzalunga; Chiara Pronzato
    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, Millennium Cohort Study, Non-cognitive development, Omitted variable bias
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: Thomas Cornelissen (Department of Economics, University of York, and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM)); Christian Dustmann (Department of Economics, University College London and CReAM)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of receiving additional schooling before age 5 on cognitive and noncognitive outcomes, exploiting unique school entry rules in England that cause variation in the age at school entry and the effective length of the first school year, and combining survey data with administrative school records up to 6 years after exposure. We find significant effects on both cognitive and noncognitive outcomes at ages 5 and 7, particularly so for boys with a disadvantaged parental background. At age 11, effects on cognitive outcomes have disappeared, while there is still evidence for effects on noncognitive outcomes.
    Keywords: Returns to early schooling, school entry age, child development
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2019–02
  3. By: Schady, Norbert (Inter-American Development Bank); Behrman, Jere R. (University of Pennsylvania); Caridad Araujo, Maria (Inter-American Development Bank); Azuero, Rodrigo (Inter-American Development Bank); Bernal, Raquel (Universidad de los Andes); Bravo, David; López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank); Macours, Karen (Paris School of Economics); Marshall, Daniela (University of Pennsylvania); Paxson, Christina (Princeton University); Vakis, Renos (World Bank)
    Abstract: Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and non-cognitive ability appear early in the life cycle. Little is known about this important question for developing countries. This paper provides new evidence of sharp differences in cognitive development by socioeconomic status in early childhood for five Latin American countries. To help with comparability, we use the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries. We find important differences in development in early childhood across countries, and steep socioeconomic gradients within every country. For the three countries where we can follow children over time, there are few substantive changes in scores once children enter school. Our results are robust to different ways of defining socioeconomic status, to different ways of standardizing outcomes, and to selective non-response on our measure of cognitive development.
    Keywords: cognitive development, poverty, gradients
    JEL: I24 I25
    Date: 2019–01

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