nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒02‒01
five papers chosen by

  1. The Non-Cognitive Roots of Civic Honesty: Evidence from the US By Alessandro Bucciol; Luca Zarri
  2. Child-Driven Parenting: Differential Early Childhood Investment by Offspring Genotype By Asta Breinholt; Dalton Conley
  3. Gender differences in tertiary education: what explains STEM participation By Mcnally, Sandra
  4. Parental Paternalism and Patience By Lukas Kiessling; Shyamal Chowdhury; Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch; Matthias Sutter
  5. The role of time estimation in decreased impatience in Intertemporal Choice By Camila S. Agostino Peter M. E. Claessens; Fuat Balci; Yossi Zana

  1. By: Alessandro Bucciol (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Luca Zarri (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: Even though a large experimental literature explored the links between personality traits and honesty, available evidence is inconclusive. In this study, we provide large-scale evidence on the influence of the “Big Five” personality traits on civic honesty, by considering the role played by individuals’ socioeconomic status. To this aim, we rely on survey data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which is representative of the US population aged 50 or more. We show that most “Big Five” traits significantly affect civic honesty, with Agreeableness being the strongest predictor. We view our findings as complementing and extending to civic-minded behavior the results of prior work on cheating based on small samples and non-representative subject pools.
    Keywords: Civic Honesty, Personality Traits, Socioeconomic Status
    JEL: D63 D91 I31
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Asta Breinholt; Dalton Conley
    Abstract: A growing literature points to children’s influence on parents’ behavior, including parental investments in children. Further, previous research has shown differential parental response by socioeconomic status to children's birth weight, cognitive ability, and school outcomes – all early life predictors of later socioeconomic success. This study considers an even earlier, more exogenous predictor of parental investments: offspring genotype. Specifically, we analyze (1) whether children’s genetic propensity towards educational success affects parenting during early childhood; and (2) whether parenting in response to children’s genetic propensity towards educational success is socially stratified. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Survey of Parents and Children (N=7,738), we construct polygenic scores for educational attainment and regress cognitively stimulating parenting behavior during early childhood on these polygenic scores. We use a range of modeling strategies to address the concern that child’s genotype may be proxying unmeasured parent characteristics. Results show that parents provide more cognitive stimulation to children with higher education polygenic scores. This pattern varies by socioeconomic status with college-educated parents responding less to children’s genetic propensity towards educational success than non-college-educated parents do.
    JEL: D13 I14 I24 J13
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Mcnally, Sandra
    Abstract: The share of women achieving tertiary education has increased rapidly over time and now exceeds that of men in most OECD countries. However, women are severely under-represented in mathsintensive science fields, which are generally referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths). The under-representation of women in these subject areas has received a great deal of attention. This is because these fields are seen to be especially important for productivity and economic growth and are associated with occupations that have higher earnings. Subject of degree is an important part of the explanation for the gender wage gap. The aim of this paper is to review evidence on explanations for the STEM gap in tertiary education. This starts with statistics about background context and evidence on how well-prepared male and female students may be for studying STEM at a later stage. I then discuss what the literature has to say about the role of personal attributes: namely confidence, self-efficacy and competitiveness and the role of preferences and expectations. I go on to discuss features of the educational context thought to be important for influencing attributes and preferences (or mediating their effects): peers; teachers; role models; and curriculum. I then briefly discuss broader cultural influences. I use the literature reviewed to discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: STEM; gender gap; tertiary education
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2020–10
  4. By: Lukas Kiessling (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Shyamal Chowdhury (University of Sydney and IZA); Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch (Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) and IZA); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA, and CESifo)
    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
  5. By: Camila S. Agostino Peter M. E. Claessens; Fuat Balci; Yossi Zana
    Abstract: The role of specific cognitive processes in deviations from constant discounting in intertemporal choice is not well understood. We evaluated decreased impatience in intertemporal choice tasks independent of discounting rate and non-linearity in long-scale time representation; nonlinear time representation was expected to explain inconsistencies in discounting rate. Participants performed temporal magnitude estimation and intertemporal choice tasks. Psychophysical functions for time intervals were estimated by fitting linear and power functions, while discounting functions were estimated by fitting exponential and hyperbolic functions. The temporal magnitude estimates of 65% of the participants were better fit with power functions (mostly compression). 63% of the participants had intertemporal choice patterns corresponding best to hyperbolic functions. Even when the perceptual bias in the temporal magnitude estimations was compensated in the discounting rate computation, the data of 8 out of 14 participants continued exhibiting temporal inconsistency. The results suggest that temporal inconsistency in discounting rate can be explained to different degrees by the bias in temporal representations. Non-linearity in temporal representation and discounting rate should be evaluated on an individual basis. Keywords: Intertemporal choice, temporal magnitude, model comparison, impatience, time inconsistency
    Date: 2020–12

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