nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2020‒11‒02
three papers chosen by

  1. Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality By Utteeyo Dasgupta; Subha Mani; Smriti Sharma; Saurabh Singhal
  2. The Impact of Child Work on Cognitive Development: Results from Four Low to Middle Income Countries By Michael Keane; Sonya Krutikova; Timothy Neal
  3. The Effect of Self-Awareness on Dishonesty By Cibik, Ceren Bengu; Sgroi, Daniel

  1. By: Utteeyo Dasgupta; Subha Mani; Smriti Sharma; Saurabh Singhal
    Abstract: Hierarchies in social identities have been found to be integrally related to divergences in economic status. In India, caste is one such significant social identity where continued discriminatory practices towards the lower castes have resulted in poor outcomes for them. While there is considerable work on such divergence on many economic outcomes along caste lines, there is no work on behavioral preferences and personality traits that can also be adversely affected by such identity hierarchies, and that are important determinants of educational attainments and labor market performances. We combine rich data from incentivized tasks and surveys conducted among a large sample of university students in a Seemingly Unrelated Regression framework and find that the historically marginalized Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCSTs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) fare worse than the upper castes along several dimensions of economic behavior such as competitiveness and confidence and personality traits such as grit, locus of control, and conscientiousness. Further, we find that parental investments only have limited compensatory effects on these gaps. This suggests a need for redesigning the structure of affirmative action policies in India as well as targeting interventions with an aim to improving soft skills among the disadvantaged.
    Keywords: Behavioral Preferences, Personality, Caste, Experiments, India
    JEL: I23 C9 C18 J24 O15
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Michael Keane (School of Economics); Sonya Krutikova (Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK); Timothy Neal (UNSW School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study the impact of child work on cognitive development in four Low- and Middle-Income Countries. We advance the literature by using cognitive test scores collected regardless of school attendance. We also address a key gap in the literature by controlling for children’s complete time allocation budget. This allows us to estimate effects of different types of work, like chores and market/farm work, relative to specific alternative time-uses, like school or study or play/leisure. Our results show child work is more detrimental to child development to the extent that it crowds out school/study time rather than leisure. We also show the adverse effect of time spent on domestic chores is similar to time spent on market and farm work, provided they both crowd out school/study time. Thus, policies to enhance child development should target a shift from all forms of work toward educational activities.
    Keywords: Child labor, Child development, Education, Time use, Item response theory, Value added models
    JEL: I25 J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Cibik, Ceren Bengu (Department of Economics,University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (Department of Economics,University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between self-awareness and dishonesty in a preregistered experiment with 1,260 subjects. In a first experiment, we vary the level of awareness of subjects' own past dishonesty and explore the impact on behaviour in tasks that include the scope to lie. We nd that in single-person non-interactive tasks, self-awareness of dishonesty helps to lower dishonesty in the future. However, in tasks that are competitive in nature becoming more aware of past dishonesty raises the likelihood of dishonesty. We argue that this behaviour is consistent with cognitive dissonance. In a second experiment we vary the degree of competitiveness in one of our core tasks to further explore the interactions between self-awareness, (dis)honesty and competition. Our results show when and why pointing out those who have been (dis)honest in the past can be an effective way to induce honesty in the future and when it might back- re badly, and perhaps also shed some light on perceived increases in dishonesty in politics, the media and everyday life
    Date: 2020

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.