nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒01‒11
three papers chosen by

  1. Locus of control and Human Capital Investment Decisions: The Role of Effort, Parental Preferences and Financial Constraints By Szabó-Morvai Ágnes; Hubert János Kiss
  2. Pension Policies, Retirement and Human Capital Depreciation in Late Adulthood By Nikolov, Plamen; Adelman, Alan
  3. Ramadan during Pregnancy – Fasting, Nutrition, Sleep Patterns and Offspring Health at Birth By Fabienne Pradella; Birgit Leimer; Anja Fruth; Annette Queißer-Wahrendorf; Reyn van Ewijk

  1. By: Szabó-Morvai Ágnes (KRTK-KTI, 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4.és Debreceni Egyetem, 4032 Debrecen, Böszörményi út 138.); Hubert János Kiss (KRTK KTI, 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4, Magyarország. andBudapesti Corvinus Egyetem, 1093 Budapest, Fõvám tér 8, Magyarország.)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between locus of control (LoC) and human capital investment decisions in the adolescence, using PDS lasso to exploit high-dimensional data. While LoC is not significantly associated with graduation from high school once we use exogenous controls, it correlates strongly with dropout age and college attendance even if we take into account predetermined variables and cognitive abilities, and it exhibits a significant positive relationship with plans to apply to college even if we control for potentially endogenous variables. We find that effort is an important conduit through which LoC operates and it is different from the expectation channel that has been already documented in the literature. The associations are heterogenous: LoC has a significant association with dropout age, high school graduation and college application plans in low-SES families, and with college attendance in mid-SES families. These heterogenous relations are in a large part determined by parental preferences and financial constraints.
    Keywords: Human Capital Investment Decision, LoC, Machine learning, PDS Lasso
    JEL: D91 I21 I23 I24 I26
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Nikolov, Plamen (State University of New York); Adelman, Alan (State University of New York)
    Abstract: Economists have mainly focused on human capital accumulation and considerably less on the causes and consequences of human capital depreciation in late adulthood. Studying human capital depreciation over the life cycle has powerful economic consequences for decision-making in old age. Using data from China, we examine how a new retirement program affects cognitive performance. We find large negative effects of pension benefits on cognitive functioning among the elderly. We detect the most substantial impact of the program on delayed recall, a significant predictor of the onset of dementia. We show suggestive evidence that the program leads to larger negative impacts among women. We demonstrate that retirement and access to a retirement pension plan plays a significant role in explaining cognitive decline at older ages.
    Keywords: life cycle, cognitive functioning, cognition, aging, health, mental retirement, middle-income countries, LMICs, developing countries, China
    JEL: O12 J24 J26 H55 H75 O15
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Fabienne Pradella (Johannes Gutenberg University); Birgit Leimer (Johannes Gutenberg University); Anja Fruth (Johannes Gutenberg University); Annette Queißer-Wahrendorf (Johannes Gutenberg University); Reyn van Ewijk (Johannes Gutenberg University)
    Abstract: Background Intrauterine exposure to Ramadan is associated with adverse offspring health outcomes. Yet, the dynamics behind these associations remain largely unexplored. We investigate if maternal intermittent fasting or other lifestyle changes during Ramadan affect birth outcomes, and determine whether nutritional and sleep behavior during non-fasting hours influences the fasting-birth weight association. Methods Linear regressions are estimated using OLS to identify the associations between fasting, sleep behavior, sweets consumption and birth weight, 5-minute APGAR score and gestational age. Interaction terms between fasting and other behaviors are included to explore the potential moderating role of behaviors beyond the binary fasting decision. The Oster test statistic is calculated to address the possibility of residual confounding. Findings Newborns with intrauterine exposure to fasting had lower birth weights than non-exposed newborns (-161ˑ57g, CI: -295ˑ63; -27ˑ51). No associations with APGAR score (0ˑ02, CI: -0ˑ23; 0ˑ27) and gestational age (0ˑ00, CI: -0ˑ51; 0ˑ51) appeared. Sweet food consumption and sleep reduction themselves are not associated with birth outcomes. However, consuming more sweet and fatty foods mitigates the negative fasting-birth weight association. The Oster test statistic shows that results are not subject to residual confounding. Interpretation Fasting seems to be the main driver of the negative fasting-birth weight association, while simultaneous nutritional and behavioral changes appear to influence how the effects materialize. Nutrition is a potential mitigating factor that should be taken into consideration when advising Muslim women of childbearing age on their behavior during Ramadan. Funding This research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG grant 260639091).
    Date: 2020–10–29

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