nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2020‒07‒13
three papers chosen by

  1. The skill development of children of immigrants By Marie Hull; Jonathan Norris
  2. Inequality in Personality over the Life Cycle By Gensowski, Miriam; Gørtz, Mette; Schurer, Stefanie
  3. The Long-Term Cognitive and Schooling Effects of Childhood Vaccinations in China By Hamid R. Oskorouchi; Alfonso Sousa-Poza; David E. Bloom

  1. By: Marie Hull (UNC Greensboro and IZA); Jonathan Norris (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the evolution of cognitive and noncognitive skills gaps for children of immigrants between kindergarten and 5th grade using two cohorts of elementary school students. We find some evidence that children of immigrants begin school with lower math scores than children of natives, but this gap disappears in later elementary school. For noncognitive skills, children of immigrants and children of natives score similarly in early elementary school, but a positive gap opens up in 2nd grade. We find that the growth in noncognitive skills is driven by disadvantaged immigrant students. We discuss potential explanations for the observed patterns of skill development as well as the implications of our results for the labor market prospects of children of immigrants.
    Keywords: children of immigrants, test scores, noncognitive skills, early life development
    JEL: I21 J13 J15
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Gensowski, Miriam (University of Copenhagen); Gørtz, Mette (University of Copenhagen); Schurer, Stefanie (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: We describe gender and socioeconomic inequalities in the Big Five personality traits over the life cycle, using a facet-level inventory linked to administrative data. We estimate life-cycle profiles non-parametrically and test for cohort and sample-selection effects. We discuss the economic implications of the following findings: Women of all ages score more highly than men on all personality traits, including three that are positively associated with wages; Individuals with high own or parental education have more favorable traits except Conscientiousness; Over the life cycle, gender and socioeconomic gaps widen in Openness and shrink in Neuroticism, a trait associated with worse outcomes.
    Keywords: inequality, socio-emotional skills, personality traits, Big Five facets, life cycle dynamics, gender gap, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: J24 I24 J62 I31 J16
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Hamid R. Oskorouchi; Alfonso Sousa-Poza; David E. Bloom
    Abstract: By exploiting rich retrospective data on childhood immunization, socioeconomics, and health status in China (the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study), we assess the long-term effects of childhood vaccination on cognitive and educational outcomes in that country. To do so, we apply various techniques (e.g., propensity score and coarsened exact matching and correlated random effects) to different sets of conditioning variables and subsamples to estimate the average treatment on the treated effect of childhood vaccination. Our results confirm that vaccinations before the age of 15 have long-term positive and economically meaningful effects on nonhealth outcomes such as education and cognitive skills. These effects are relatively strong, with vaccinated individuals enjoying about one more year of schooling and performing substantially better later in life on several cognitive tests.
    JEL: I12 I18 I21
    Date: 2020–05

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.