nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒01‒25
three papers chosen by

  1. Detecting Drivers of Behavior at an Early Age: Evidence from a Longitudinal Field Experiment By Marco Castillo; John A. List; Ragan Petrie; Anya Samek
  2. Patience, Cognitive Abilities, and Cognitive Effort: Survey and Experimental Evidence from a Developing Country By Stefania Bortolotti; Thomas Dohmen; Hartmut Lehmann; Frauke Meyer; Norberto Pignatti; Karine Torosyan
  3. Parental Paternalism and Patience By Kiessling, Lukas; Chowdhury, Shyamal; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah; Sutter, Matthias

  1. By: Marco Castillo; John A. List; Ragan Petrie; Anya Samek
    Abstract: We use field experiments with nearly 900 children to investigate how skills developed at ages 3-5 drive later-life outcomes. We find that skills map onto three distinct factors - cognitive skills, executive functions, and economic preferences. Returning to the children up to 7 years later, we find that executive functions, but not cognitive skills, predict the likelihood of receiving disciplinary referrals. Economic preferences have an independent effect: children who displayed impatience at ages 3-5 were more likely to receive disciplinary referrals. Random assignment to a parenting program reduced disciplinary referrals. This effect was not mediated by skills or preferences.
    JEL: C91 C93 D12 D81 I21 I26
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Stefania Bortolotti; Thomas Dohmen (University of Bonn, IZA, Maastricht University, ROA, DIW); Hartmut Lehmann (National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Russia; IZA, University of Bologna); Frauke Meyer (Forschungszentrum Jülich); Norberto Pignatti (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), IZA); Karine Torosyan (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET))
    Abstract: We shed new light on the relationship between cognition and patience, by providing documenting that the correlation between cognitive abilities and delay discounting is weaker for the same group of individuals if choices are incentivized. We conjecture that the exertion of higher cognitive effort, which induces higher involvement of the cognitive system, moderates the relationship between patience and cognition. To test this hypothesis, we analyze the relationship between various measures of cognitive ability, including the cognitive reffection test (CRT), a symbol-correspondence test, a numeracy test, as well as self-reported math ability and the interviewer's assessment of the respondent's sharpness and understanding, and different measures of patience, including incentivized choices between smaller sooner and larger later monetary payments and hypothetical inter-temporal trade-offs, for 107 subjects drawn from the adult population in Tbilisi (Georgia).
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Kiessling, Lukas (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Chowdhury, Shyamal (University of Sydney); Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: We study whether and how parents interfere paternalistically in their children's intertemporal decision-making. Based on experiments with over 2,000 members of 610 families, we find that parents anticipate their children's present bias and aim to mitigate it. Using a novel method to measure parental interference, we show that more than half of all parents are willing to pay money to override their children's choices. Parental interference predicts more intensive parenting styles and a lower intergenerational transmission of patience. The latter is driven by interfering parents not transmitting their own present bias, but molding their children's preferences towards more time-consistent choices.
    Keywords: parental paternalism, time preferences, convex time budgets, present bias, intergenerational transmission, parenting styles, experiment
    JEL: C90 D1 D91 D64 J13 J24 O12
    Date: 2021–01

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