nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2019‒05‒27
three papers chosen by

  1. A short note on the rationality of the false consensus effect By Vanberg, Christoph
  2. Measuring the Routine and Non-Routine Task Content of 427 Four-Digit ISCO-08 Occupations By Emil Mihaylov; Kea Tijdens
  3. Ability to Sustain Test Performance and Remedial Education: Good News for Girls By Marianna Battaglia; Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo

  1. By: Vanberg, Christoph
    Abstract: In experiments which measure subjects’ beliefs, both beliefs about others’ behavior and beliefs about others’ beliefs, are often correlated with a subject’s own choices. Such phenomena have been interpreted as evidence of a causal relationship between beliefs and behavior. An alternative explanation attributes them to what psychologists refer to as a ‘false consensus effect’. It is my impression that the latter explanation is often prematurely dismissed because it is thought to be based on an implausible psychological bias. The goal of this note is to show that the false consensus effect does not rely on such a bias. I demonstrate that rational belief formation implies a correlation of behavior and beliefs of all orders whenever behaviorally relevant traits are drawn from an unknown common distribution. Thus, if we assume that subjects rationally update beliefs, correlations of beliefs and behavior cannot support a causal relationship.
    Keywords: beliefs; behavioral economics; experimental economics
    Date: 2019–05–09
  2. By: Emil Mihaylov (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Kea Tijdens (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper develops new measures of the task content of occupations that are based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations 2008 (ISCO-08). Using a detailed set of 3,264 occupation-specific tasks, we construct five measures of non-routine analytic, non-routine interactive, routine cognitive, routine manual and non-routine manual tasks for 427 four-digit occupations. To generate these measures, first we assign each of the 3,264 tasks to one or more of the five task categories. The decision to classify tasks as routine or non-routine, and as cognitive or manual, depends on whether the tasks can be replaced by computer-controlled technology and whether the performance of the tasks requires cognitive or manual skills. We judge the automation potential of tasks on a case-by-case basis and classify tasks to one or more of the five task categories. Because the classification of 3,264 tasks can be prone to errors, we devote substantial attention to the possibility of misclassifying tasks. We discuss three particular types of task misclassifications and provide examples of tasks that could be potentially misclassified. In line with the previous literature, we find that non-routine analytic and interactive tasks are most prevalent in the work of Managers and Professionals, routine cognitive tasks are mainly concentrated in the work of Clerical Support Workers, and routine and non-routine manual tasks are most common in the work of Plant and Machine Operators and Assemblers and Elementary Occupations, respectively. We compare the newly developed task measures with three previous studies (Acemoglu and Autor, 2011; Dengler, Matthes and Paulus, 2014; Frey and Osborne, 2017) and demonstrate that our measures are moderately to strongly positively correlated with the previous papers’ indexes. Based on our task content measures, we provide an end of the envelop estimation of the number of occupations that might be at risk of automation. We find that approximately 16 percent of the 427 ISCO-08 occupations fall into the so-called high risk of automation category – they contain 70 percent or more routine tasks. The 16 percent of automatable occupations correspond roughly to 11 percent of total employment in the Netherlands.
    Keywords: Technological change, Computerization, Occupations, Routine and non-routine tasks, International Standard Classification of Occupations 2008 (ISCO-08)
    JEL: O33 J24 J62
    Date: 2019–05–17
  3. By: Marianna Battaglia (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico); Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: Growing evidence shows that skills other than cognitive are crucial to understand labor market and other outcomes in life and that these skills are more malleable than the cognitive ones at later ages. However, little is known about the role of education in improving these abilities for disadvantaged teenagers in developed countries. In this paper we address two questions: (i) Can educational interventions aimed at teenagers improve skills other than cognitive? (ii) Can we expect heterogeneous e¿ects depending on the students’ gender? We take advantage of a remedial education program for under-performing students implemented in Spain between 2005 and 2012, and, following recent literature, we consider testing and survey behaviors as measures of non-cognitive skills. We use external evaluations of the schools (PISA 2012) and exploit the variation in the question ordering of the test to compute students’ ability to sustain performance throughout it. We ¿nd that the program had a positive e¿ect on girls’ ability to sustain test performance but no impact for boys.
    Keywords: remedial education, test performance, program evaluation, PISA
    JEL: H52 I23 I28 J24
    Date: 2019–05

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