nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
five papers chosen by

  1. Children's GrI-Creativity: Effects of Limited Resources in Creative Drawing By Giuseppe Attanasi; Michela Chessa; Carlo Ciucani; Sara Gil Gallen
  2. Verbal Aptitude Hurts Children’s Economic Decision Making Accuracy By Sabrina Bruyneel; Laurens Cherchye; Sam Cosaert; Bram De Rock; Siegfried Dewitte
  3. Motivating Risky Choices Increases Risk Taking By Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Lorenzo Spadoni
  4. Creativity under Pressure: Performance Payments, Task Type and Productivity* By Joaquin Artes; Jennifer Graves; Meryl Motika
  5. Mama Knows (and Does) Best : Maternal Schooling Opportunities and Child Development in Indonesia By Hasan,Amer; Nakajima,Nozomi; Rangel,Marcos A.

  1. By: Giuseppe Attanasi (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Michela Chessa (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Carlo Ciucani (LUISS University, Rome, Italy); Sara Gil Gallen (Università degli studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", Italy)
    Abstract: We define GrI-creativity as the specific creative cognition process resulting in green innovation, i.e., directed toward the generation of green rather than non-green products. In this work, we developed an operational way to investigate the GrI-creativity process and its determinants through a lab-in-the-field experiment with primary school children aged from 7 to 11 years old. Subjects performed a common drawing task, but with different means: only a black marker, any color among twelve (including black), or three among the same twelve color set. Our findings show that (i) freedom of choice in the used tools is boosting creativity, (ii) limited resources do not boost creativity, but they are not detrimental either. According to our results, GrI-creativity can be enhanced by providing fewer resources, but ensuring that individuals are given some discretion when it comes to choosing which of them to use. Therefore, we combine our experimental method with insights from social psychology. We provide evidence of a highly significant positive effect on creativity of three personal traits of the subjects, namely: a high score at the Cognitive Reflection Test, self-perception of creativity and the practice of sport in daily life. All these results are in line with the existing literature investigating the determinants of creativity. More surprisingly, we do not find evidence of a role of the risk preferences.
    Keywords: Creativity, Green Innovation, Experimental Economics, Social Psychology
    JEL: C91 D91 O31 Q50
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Sabrina Bruyneel; Laurens Cherchye; Sam Cosaert; Bram De Rock; Siegfried Dewitte
    Abstract: The impact of children’s decision making increases with age and has relatively increased through time. Although a lot is known about cognitive development, less is known about how this development impacts decision accuracy in economic situations. This study builds on revealed preference theory to study the impact of cognitive aptitude on economic decision making accuracy and explores the intervening role of decision heuristics. In a study (n=100) where children from three age groups had to make choices between combinations of products, we found that decision accuracy was lower for kindergarteners than for children from the third and sixth grade, replicating and validating older findings. We found that one aspect of cognitive aptitude, namely verbal aptitude, hurts rather than helps decision accuracy. Further explorations suggested that this relation was due to the decreased use of the “more is better” heuristic, a child’s preference for options with many units, which decreased with increasing verbal aptitude but increased rational decision making. We discuss the implications of the negative effect of verbal aptitude on economic decision making accuracy.
    Keywords: Revealed preference; intelligence; accurate decision making; economic decision making; verbal aptitude; children’s decision accuracy
    Date: 2020–07
  3. By: Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Lorenzo Spadoni
    Abstract: We study the impact of the mode of cognition on risk taking. In an online experiment we ask participants to make a simple decision involving risk. In the control group no manipulation is made, while in the treatment group we exogenously manipulate the mode of cognition by asking subjects to write down a text that motivates their risky choice before any decision is actually made. Such motivation treatment is meant to induce more reflection upon the decision to be made. Our results show an effect of the motivation treatment on risk taking, suggesting that higher reflection makes subjects more prone to risk taking. The effect is stronger if we consider only subjects who imperfectly understand the probability distribution implied by the simple choice task. Based on our experimental findings, we suggest that reflection and comprehension might be substitutes when individuals make decisions involving risk.
    Keywords: dual process; risk taking; motivation; deliberation; intuition; bomb risk elicitation task
    JEL: D01 D81
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Joaquin Artes; Jennifer Graves; Meryl Motika (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: When incentivizing a worker with performance pay, does the effectiveness of the pay type used vary by the type of task being completed? To answer this question, we run an experiment to test the task-specific productivity effects of various types of performance-based payments, each intended to incentivize productivity. The incentives we use are competition, high-stakes pay, time pressure and piece rate pay, each evaluated against a non-performance-based flat rate payment. Each of these incentives are applied in situations with participants completing three types of tasks: a routine task, a purely creative task and a creative problem-solving task. By testing these various tasks and pressures in the same experimental design, we are able to make comparisons across task types that have not been possible in previous studies. Our results show that productivity indeed does differ across task type and incentive combinations. We find that, for routine tasks, all incentivizing payment schemes improve productivity relative to flat rate payment. In contrast, for both the purely creative and the creative problem-solving tasks, none of the payment types of piece rate, timed goals nor high stakes pay impact productivity relative to a flat rate payment, with the high pay incentive even decreasing performance on the problemsolving task. We find competition to be the one incentive-based pay scheme that boosts productivity. Participants performed as well or better under competition across all task types, with a notable increase in their performance on pure creative tasks.
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Hasan,Amer; Nakajima,Nozomi; Rangel,Marcos A.
    Abstract: This paper leverages quasi-experimental variation in increased access to basic formal education, introduced by a large-scale school construction program in Indonesia in the 1970s, to quantify the benefits to the children of women targeted by the program. Novel and rich data allow the analysis of a range of health, cognitive and socio-emotional development outcomes for children ages 6 to 8 in 2013. The paper finds that increased maternal access to schooling has positive and multidimensional effects on children. The effects are particularly salient at the bottom of the distributions of outcomes. Drawing on insights from economics, psychology, and sociology, the paper examines pathways for these impacts. Evidence suggests that mothers who were exposed to more schooling opportunities during childhood demonstrate less hostility toward their children when parenting and also invest more in their children's preschool education.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Health Care Services Industry,Early Childhood Development,Nutrition,Early Child and Children's Health,Reproductive Health,Children and Youth,Social Protections&Assistance
    Date: 2020–08–11

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