nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
four papers chosen by

  1. Are Personality Traits Really Fixed and Does It Matter? By Stillman, Steven; Velamuri, Malathi
  2. Are Economists' Preferences Psychologists' Personality Traits? A Structural Approach By Jagelka, Tomáš
  3. Are Children's Socio-Emotional Skills Shaped by Parental Health Shocks? By Esteban García-Miralles; Miriam Gensowski
  4. Cognitive Performance in the Home Office - Evidence from Professional Chess By Künn, Steffen; Seel, Christian; Zegners, Dainis

  1. By: Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano); Velamuri, Malathi (Chennai Mathematical Institute)
    Abstract: A nascent but burgeoning literature examines the importance of non-cognitive skills in determining success across many facets of life. The majority of these papers treat these skills as fixed traits for adults. We estimate the impact of a number of life events on the Big Five personality traits and locus of control. A subset of life events have large impacts on these non-cognitive skills, especially on locus of control. For some events, these impacts persist in the medium-run. We then demonstrate that treating personality traits as fixed can lead to biased estimates of their relationship with socioeconomic outcomes.
    Keywords: personality, non-cognitive skills, life events, fixed
    JEL: J24 C18
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Jagelka, Tomáš (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a method for empirically mapping psychological personality traits to economic preferences. Careful modelling of random components of decision making is crucial to establishing the long supposed but empirically elusive link between economic and psychological systems for understanding differences in individuals' behavior. I use factor analysis to extract information on individuals' cognitive ability and personality and embed it within a Random Preference Model to estimate distributions of risk and time preferences, of their individual-level stability, and of people's propensity to make mistakes. I explain up to 50% of the variation in both average risk and time preferences and in individuals' capacity to make consistent rational choices using four factors related to cognitive ability and three of the Big Five personality traits. True differences in desired outcomes are related to differences in personality whereas actual mistakes in decisions are related to cognitive skill.
    Keywords: economic preferences, personality traits, decision error, measurement error, stochastic discrete choice
    JEL: D91 D80 D01
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Esteban García-Miralles (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Miriam Gensowski (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Child skills are shaped by parental investments. When parents experience a health shock, their investments and therefore their children's skills may be affected. This paper estimates causal effects of severe parental health shocks on child socio-emotional skills. Drawing on a large-scale survey linked to hospital records, we find that socio-emotional skills of 11-16 year-olds are robust to parental health shocks, with the exception of significant but very small reductions in Conscientiousness. We study short-run effects with a child-fixed effects model, and dynamics around the shocks with event studies. A sibling comparison suggests some long-run build-up of effects of early shocks.
    Keywords: Big Five personality traits, development of personality traits, parental health shocks, socio-emotional skills, non-cognitive skills, skill formation
    JEL: J24 I10 I21
    Date: 2020–07–09
  4. By: Künn, Steffen (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, Macro, International & Labour Economics); Seel, Christian (RS: GSBE Theme Conflict & Cooperation, Microeconomics & Public Economics); Zegners, Dainis
    Abstract: During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, traditional (offline) chess tournaments were prohibited and instead held online. We exploit this as a unique setting to assess the impact of moving offline tasks online on the cognitive performance of individuals. We use the Artificial Intelligence embodied in a powerful chess engine to assess the quality of chess moves and associated errors. Using within-player comparisons, we find a statistically and economically significant decrease in performance when competing online compared to competing offline. Our results suggest that teleworking might have adverse effects on workers performing cognitive tasks.
    JEL: H12 L23 M11 M54
    Date: 2020–07–14

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