nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2020‒10‒26
three papers chosen by

  1. The Consequences of the COVID-19 Job Losses: Who Will Suffer Most and by How Much? By Yasemin Özdemir
  2. Introducing CogX: A New Preschool Education Program Combining Parent and Child Interventions By Roland G. Fryer Jr; Steven D. Levitt; John A. List; Anya Samek
  3. Time of Day, Cognitive Tasks and Efficiency Gains By Alessio Gaggero; Denni Tommasi

  1. By: Yasemin Özdemir
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether and how parents adjust their parenting behavior in response to their children's peers. In particular, I analyze whether changes in cognitive and non-cognitive skills of children's friends lead parents to adjust their investment and parenting style such, as monitoring and quality time spend with their children. Data from Add Health allow me to follow five cohorts of teenagers from grades 7 to 12 with repeated information on individual friendship networks. Combining the empirical strategy of overlapping peer groups and first-differencing, I estimate a simultaneous system of skill and investment equations. First, I show that parental monitoring increases as the level of cognitive skills among peers decreases. Also, mothers compensate decreases in cognitive skills of their child's peers by increasing verbal investment, while fathers reinforce higher non-cognitive skills of their child's peers with joint activities. Second, I document gender differences in monitoring, where cognitive skills of sons' peers are compensated but non-cognitive skills of daughters' peers are reinforced. Overall, effects in time investment are driven by parents with high educational expectations of their child, and parents that have no close relationship with peer-parents. Third, parental response to peers is not limited to peer skills, the composition of peers as measured by their characteristics also leads to an adjustment in the parenting behavior.
    Keywords: Child Development, Family Investment, Peers, Skills, Non-Cognitive Skills
    JEL: J13 J24 D13
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Roland G. Fryer Jr; Steven D. Levitt; John A. List; Anya Samek
    Abstract: We present the results of a novel early childhood intervention in which disadvantaged 3-4-year- old children were randomized to receive a new preschool and parent education program focused on cognitive and non-cognitive skills (CogX) or to a control group that did not receive preschool education. In addition to a typical academic year (9 month) program, we also evaluated a shortened summer version of the program (2 months) in which children were treated immediately prior to the start of Kindergarten. Both programs, including the shortened version, significantly improved cognitive test scores by about one quarter of a standard deviation relative to the control group at the end of the year. The shortened version of the program was equally as effective as the academic- year program because most of the gains in the academic-year program occurred within the first few months.
    JEL: C93 J24
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Alessio Gaggero; Denni Tommasi
    Abstract: The link between time-of-day and productivity on cognitive tasks is crucial to understand workplace efficiency and welfare. We study the performance of University students taking at most one exam per day in the final two weeks of the semester. Exams are scheduled at different time-of-day in a quasirandom fashion. We find that peak performance occurs around lunchtime (1.30pm), as compared to morning (9am) or late afternoon (4.30pm). This inverse-U shape relationship between time-of-day and performance (i) is not driven by stress or fatigue, (ii) is consistent with the idea that cognitive functioning is an important determinant of productivity and (iii) implies that efficiency gains of up to 0.14 standard deviations can be achieved through simple re-arrangements of the time of exams. While researchers have shown that biological factors influence changes in productivity between day and night shifts, we establish that such relationship is also important within a standard day-light shift. A simple back of the envelope calculation applied to an external context that is likely to benefit from our results, elective surgeries, suggests that a different sorting of the cognitive tasks performed by surgeons may lead to an increase in the number of patients saved.
    Keywords: time-of-day, cognitive tasks, productivity, efficiency gains, circadian rhythm
    JEL: I20 I24 J22 J24
    Date: 2020

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