nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2019‒11‒11
three papers chosen by

  1. An Examination of Circadian Impacts on Judgments By David L. Dickinson; Andrew R. Smith; Robert McClelland
  2. Rational Choices: An Ecological Approach By Abhinash Borah; Christopher Kops
  3. Sources of ethnicity differences in non-cognitive development in children and adolescents By Nguyen, Ha Trong; Connelly, Luke B.; Le, Huong Thu; Mitrou, Francis; Taylor, Catherine; Zubrick, Stephen R.

  1. By: David L. Dickinson; Andrew R. Smith; Robert McClelland
    Abstract: Many people suffer from insufficient sleep and the adverse effects of sleep deprivation or chronic sleep restriction are well documented. Relatedly, recent research has shown that people’s judgments and decisions can be affected by circadian timing. We contributed to this literature by examining time-of-day impact on people’s judgments about hypothetical legal scenarios, hypothesizing that participants responding at a suboptimal time of day (3-5 AM) would give higher guilt ratings and be less sensitive to case information (e.g., evidence strength) than participants responding at a more optimal time of day (2-4 PM). Despite the fact that the time-of-day manipulation successfully influenced participants’ self-reported alertness levels, the time-of-day did not affect guilt judgments or sensitivity to case information. Exploratory analyses found that chronic daytime sleepiness coupled with suboptimal time-of-day impacted participants’ judgments. This adds to the broader literature on how extraneous factors may impact probability assessments, and these results suggest that circadian timing might differentially affect people depending on other contributing factors. Key Words: Sleep deprivation; Circadian mismatch; Judgments; Bayesian choice
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Abhinash Borah (Department of Economics, Ashoka University); Christopher Kops (Heidelberg University)
    Abstract: We address the oft-repeated criticism that the demands which the rational choice approach makes on the knowledge and cognition of a decision maker (DM) are way beyond the capabilities of typical human intelligence. Our key ï¬ nding is that it may be possible to arrive at this ideal of rationality by means of cognitively less demanding, heuristic-based ecological reasoning that draws on information about others’ choices in the DM’s environment. Formally, we propose a choice procedure under which, in any choice problem, the DM, ï¬ rst, uses this information to shortlist a set of alternatives. The DM does this shortlisting by a mental process of categorization whereby she draws similarities with certain societal members—the ingroup—and distinctions from others—the outgroup—and considers those alternatives that are similar (dissimilar) to ingroup (outgroup) members’ choices. Then, she chooses from this shortlisted set by applying her preferences, which may be incomplete owing to limitations of knowledge. We show that if a certain homophily condition connecting the DM’s preferences with her ingroup-outgroup categorization holds, then the procedure never leads the DM to making bad choices. If, in addition, a certain shortlisting consistency condition holds vis-a-vis non-comparable alternatives under the DM’s preferences, then the procedure results in rational choices.
    Keywords: Rational choice, ecological rationality, ingroup-outgroup categorization, fast and frugal heuristics, homophily
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Nguyen, Ha Trong; Connelly, Luke B.; Le, Huong Thu; Mitrou, Francis; Taylor, Catherine; Zubrick, Stephen R.
    Abstract: In most multi-cultural Anglo-Saxon countries, children of Asian immigrants have higher academic achievement than children of native-born parents. Yet, little is known about their relative non-cognitive performance. This study is the first to compare the non-cognitive skills of children of Asian immigrants and children of native-born Australian parents and seek to understand the evolution of non-cognitive skills. We find large differences in non-cognitive skill development between children of Asian immigrants and children of parents from other ethnicity groups. Furthermore, the nativity gaps in non-cognitive skills vary significantly by informants of non-cognitive skills, types of non-cognitive skills and children’s ages. According to teacher ratings, children of Asian immigrants are found to excel in almost all non-cognitive attributes, particularly after school entry ages. By contrast, Asian immigrant parents rated their children lower in some selected non-cognitive attributes and at early ages. Adopting a cumulative value-added regression model and an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method, this paper shows differences in initial child non-cognitive abilities, parenting styles and children’s time allocations are the most important factors explaining the ethnic non-cognitive skill gap. Moreover, ethnic differences in parenting styles and children’s time allocations both contribute to reducing the ethnic gap in non-cognitive skills. By contrast, differences in other child or household characteristics explain very little of the ethnic non-cognitive skill gap.
    Keywords: Migration, Non-cognitive skills, Time Use Diary, Second-generation Immigrants, Australia
    JEL: J13 J15 J22 J24
    Date: 2019–10

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