nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2019‒08‒26
three papers chosen by

  1. Educational achievement and gender differences: The role of the interaction between emotional stability and conscientiousness By Wehner, Caroline; Schils, Trudie
  2. How are Preferences For Commitment Revealed? By Mariana Carrera; Heather Royer; Mark Stehr; Justin Sydnor; Dmitry Taubinsky
  3. Home and School in the Development of Children By Francesco Agostinelli; Morteza Saharkhiz; Matthew Wiswall

  1. By: Wehner, Caroline (bibb); Schils, Trudie (General Economics 2 (Macro))
    Abstract: The personality traits emotional stability and conscientiousness as well as the concept of gender are known to be predictive of educational achievement. Nevertheless, the interaction between these two traits and their relationship with both educational achievement and gender heterogeneity therein are far less explored and understood. We addressed this issue by using rich data from the British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70) to targeting the relationship between personality as measured in adolescence and educational achievement in adulthood. We found that emotional stability was positively related to education outcomes for females, while conscientiousness was able to further boost their educational achievement. By contrast, these findings also indicated that less emotional stability was positively related to education outcomes for conscientious males. Our results suggest that an isolated examinations of the relationship between either emotional stability or conscientiousness and educational achievement while neglecting gender heterogeneity within these relations is likely misleading.
    Keywords: human capital, educational economics, personality differences, gender heterogeneity
    JEL: I20 I24 J16
    Date: 2019–08–19
  2. By: Mariana Carrera; Heather Royer; Mark Stehr; Justin Sydnor; Dmitry Taubinsky
    Abstract: A large literature treats take-up of commitment contracts, in the form of choice-set restrictions or penalties, as a smoking gun for (awareness of) self-control problems. This paper provides new techniques for examining the validity of this assumption, as well as a new approach for detecting (awareness of) self-control problems. Theoretically, we show that with some uncertainty about the future, demand for commitment contracts is closer to a special case than to a robust implication of models of limited self-control. In a field experiment with 1292 members of a fitness facility, we find that many participants take up commitment contracts both for going to the gym more and for going to the gym less, and there is a significant positive correlation in demand for these two types of contracts. This suggests that commitment contract take-up reflects, at least in part, something other than the desire to change own future behavior, such as demand effects or "noisy valuation." Moreover, we find that commitment contract take-up is negatively related to awareness of self-control problems: a novel information treatment that increased awareness of self-control problems reduced demand for commitment contracts. We address the limitations of using commitment contracts as a measurement tool by showing that a combination of belief forecasts and willingness to pay for linear incentives provides more robust identification of limited self-control and people's awareness of it. We use the methodology to obtain some of the first parameter estimates of partially-sophisticated quasi-hyperbolic discounting in the field.
    JEL: C9 D9 I12
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Francesco Agostinelli (University of Pennsylvania); Morteza Saharkhiz (Arizona State University); Matthew Wiswall (University of Wisconsin--Madison)
    Abstract: We develop a unified empirical framework for child development which nests the key features of two previously parallel research programs, the Child Development literature and the Education Production Function literature. Our framework allows for mis-measured cognitive and non-cognitive skills, classroom effects, parental influences, and complementarities. Although both are important, we estimate that differential parental investments are the more important source of end-of-kindergarten inequality than classroom quality. Quality classrooms have a larger effect on children entering kindergarten with skill deficits. Our estimated model replicates out-of-sample patterns by excluded race and family income variables and experimental results from the Tennessee STAR experiment.
    Keywords: Child Development; School; Parents; Education Production Function; Child Development; Skill Formation; Value-added; Latent Factor Models; Skill Production Technology
    JEL: I21 J13
    Date: 2019–07

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