nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2019‒06‒10
four papers chosen by

  1. Who Marries Whom? The Role of Identity, Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills in Marriage By Annalisa Marini
  2. Passive Choices and Cognitive Spillovers By Altmann, Steffen; Grunewald, Andreas; Radbruch, Jonas
  3. Are rising house prices really good for your brain? House value and cognitive functioning among older Europeans By Bénédicte Apouey; Isabelle Chort
  4. Infant health, cognitive performance and earnings: evidence from inception of the welfare state in Sweden By Bhalotra, Sonia; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese; Schwarz, Nina

  1. By: Annalisa Marini (University of Exeter)
    Abstract: I estimate a structural model of marriage sorting on a representative sample of British individuals. The paper first investigates the importance of numerical skills in the selection of the partner and the role of identity for marriage matching on a British sample. The findings show that identity is among the most important attributes, together with education and physical characteristics, in marriage sorting. Cognitive skills are both direct and indirect determinants of marriage matching. Personality traits are also relevant in the choice of the partner: conscientiousness and openness to experience play, in addition to risk propensity, a direct and an indirect role, while agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism matter only indirectly. Interesting findings, robust to both alternative specifications and a sensitivity analysis, and heterogeneous preferences between males and females emerge from the analysis.
    Keywords: Marriage, Identity, Cognitive, Noncognitive Skills
    JEL: J12 D9 C01
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Altmann, Steffen (IZA and University of Copenhagen); Grunewald, Andreas (Goethe University Frankfurt); Radbruch, Jonas (IZA)
    Abstract: Passive behavior is ubiquitous - even when facing various alternatives to choose from, people commonly fail to take decisions. This paper provides evidence on the cognitive foundations of such "passive choices" and studies implications for policies that encourage active decision-making. In an experiment designed to study passive behavior, we document three main results. First, we demonstrate that scarcity of cognitive resources leads to passive behavior. Second, policies that encourage active choice succeed in reducing passivity and improve decisions in the targeted domain. Third, however, these benefits of choice-promoting policies come at the cost of negative cognitive spillovers to other domains.
    Keywords: passivity, cognitive resources, scarcity, spillover effects, active decision-making, default options
    JEL: D91 D01 D04 C91
    Date: 2019–05
  3. By: Bénédicte Apouey (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Isabelle Chort (UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour)
    Abstract: This study examines how house prices in uence cognitive functioning for individuals aged 50+ in Europe. Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement, we compute the median house price for each region-year, employing individual self-reported house values. We allow housing market fluctuations to have different effects during episodes of price increases and decreases, and we study owners with a mortgage, owners without a mortgage, and tenants separately. House price booms do not systematically improve cognitive outcomes: for outright owners, rising prices have a negative impact on cognitive health. For richer households, this negative effect is driven by respondents with no second home, suggesting that high prices make second home ownership less affordable and reduces household residential mobility. Finally, house price decreases are associated with better cognitive health for mortgaged owners, but this beneficial effect is largely due to the burst of the house price bubble in Spain.
    Keywords: House prices,Wealth,Cognitive functioning,Health,Older Europeans,Europe,SHARE
    Date: 2018–06
  4. By: Bhalotra, Sonia; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese; Schwarz, Nina
    Abstract: We identify earnings impacts of exposure to an infant health intervention in Sweden, using individual linked administrative data to trace potential mechanisms. Leveraging quasi-random variation in eligibility, we estimate that exposure was associated with higher test scores in primary school for boys and girls, with a different distribution of gains, only girls being more likely to score in the top quintile. Subsequent gains, in secondary schooling, employment, and earnings, are restricted to girls. We argue that the differential gains for women accrued from both skills and opportunities, expansion of the welfare state having created unprecedented employment opportunities for women.
    Date: 2019–05–27

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