nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2019‒06‒17
three papers chosen by

  1. Skills, education and fertility -and the confounding impact of family background By Kramarz, Francis; Nordström Skans, Oskar; Rosenqvist, Olof
  2. Explaining gender gap variation across assessment forms By Graetz, Georg; Karimi, Arizo
  3. It’s Time to Cheat! By Alessandro Bucciol; Simona Cicognani; Natalia Montinari

  1. By: Kramarz, Francis (CREST, École Polytechnique, CEPR;); Nordström Skans, Oskar (Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet); Rosenqvist, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: Skilled and educated women have on average fewer children and are more likely to remain childless than the less skilled and educated. Using rich Swedish register data, we show that these negative associations found in most previous studies largely disappear if we remove the impact of family background factors using twin (or sibling) fixed effects. For males, human capital measures are virtually unrelated to fertility, but this again masks the role of family background factors: more educated and skilled males tend to have more children than their less skilled peers once we use twin/sibling fixed effects to remove family background factors. Hence, for both men and women, human capital and fertility become more positively associated once the joint family components are removed, i.e. when studying the within-family associations. The one human capital measure which deviates from these patterns is non-cognitive ability, which has a very strong overall positive association with fertility, an association which instead is muted within families. We end by showing that these results can be reconciled in a stylized theoretical model where family-specific preferences for fertility shape the relative investments in different types of skills and traits when children are small as well as the choices, in terms of family formation and human capital investments, these children make when they enter into adulthood.
    Keywords: Fertility; education; grades; cognitive ability; non-cognitive ability; twins
    JEL: I24 J13 J24
    Date: 2019–05–17
  2. By: Graetz, Georg (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Uppsala University); Karimi, Arizo (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: In Sweden, females outperform males on compulsory and high school GPAs by a third of a standard deviation, while males outperform females on the Swedish SAT by the same magnitude. We establish that GPAs capture different attributes and skills compared to SAT scores. Differences in motivation and effort explain up to 60 percent of the female advantage in GPAs, while cognitive skills explain 40 percent of the male advantage in SAT scores. The latter is accounted for by differential self-selection into taking the SAT. Our findings imply large effects of the choice of university admission criterion on admitted students’characteristics.
    Keywords: gender gaps; student assessment; cognitive skills; non-cognitive skills; university admissions
    JEL: I21 I24 J16
    Date: 2019–05–06
  3. By: Alessandro Bucciol (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Simona Cicognani (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Natalia Montinari (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: We run a lab experiment testing the correlation between time preferences and cheating at the individual level, controlling for individuals' risk attitude. In our experiment cheating only entails a moral cost for the decision maker, while it imposes no externalities on others, and it is not associated to the risk of being detected and sanctioned. Our hypothesis is that cheating is higher among individuals who attribute more importance to the present. Our experiment also allows to record socio-demographic details and information on cognitive abilities of participants. We observe widespread cheating, and statistical evidence that cheating prevails among subjects who display present bias and over-confidence. Cheating also turns out to be negatively correlated with risk aversion and the discount factor, but only for men, while the impact of present bias seems to be stronger for women.
    Keywords: Cheating, Time Discounting, Quasi-hyperbolic preferences
    JEL: D91 C91 D81
    Date: 2019–06

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