nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒03‒22
four papers chosen by

  1. Maternal depression and child human capital: A genetic instrumental-variable approach By Giorgia Menta; Anthony Lepinteur; Andrew Clark; Simone Ghislandi; Conchita Ambrosio
  2. Is Care by Grandparents or Parents Better for Children’s Non-cognitive Skills? Evidence on Locus of Control from China By Xiang Ao; Xuan Chen; Zhong Zhao
  3. Anemia, Diet, and Cognitive Development: Impact of Health Information on Diet Quality and Child Nutrition in Rural India By Krämer, Marion; Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian
  4. Cognitive Impairment and Prevalence of Memory-Related Diagnoses among U.S. Older Adults By Qian, Yuting; Chen, Xi; Tang, Diwen; Kelley, Amy S.; Li, Jing

  1. By: Giorgia Menta (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Andrew Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Simone Ghislandi (Bocconi University [Milan, Italy]); Conchita Ambrosio (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])
    Abstract: We here address the causal relationship between maternal depression and child human capital using UK cohort data. We exploit the conditionally-exogenous variation in mothers' genomes in an instrumental-variable approach, and describe the conditions under which mother's genetic variants can be used as valid instruments. An additional episode of maternal depression between the child's birth up to age nine reduces both their cognitive and non-cognitive skills by 20 to 45% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and the maternal transmission of genes to her child.
    Keywords: Mendelian Randomisation,Maternal Depression,Human Capital,Instrumental Variables,ALSPAC
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Xiang Ao (Renmin University of China); Xuan Chen (Renmin University of China); Zhong Zhao (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effect of grandparental care on children’s locus of control (LOC), which is an important non-cognitive skill that affects children’s future development. We use data from the China Family Panel Studies, which is a nationally representative survey, and employ instrumental variables to address the endogeneity of family childcare choice. We find that children in the care of their grandparents have more external LOC than children in the care of their parents do; that is, they are more likely to attribute individual success to external factors, such as luck, fate, and family background. This finding is robust to different measures of grandparental care and different model specifications. We further examine the potential mechanisms underlying this effect. Grandparents have more external LOC than parents do, which can affect children’s LOC through intergenerational transmission of LOC. Their parenting attitudes and styles are also different from parents’ in that grandparents take less responsibility for children’s academic performance than parents do and are less strict with children. In addition, grandparental care induces adverse effects on children’s family environment.
    Keywords: intergenerational childcare, non-cognitive skills, locus of control
    JEL: J13 J24 D19
    Date: 2021–03
  3. By: Krämer, Marion (German Institute for Development Evaluation); Kumar, Santosh (Sam Houston State University); Vollmer, Sebastian (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: Lack of information about health risks may limit the adoption of improved nutritional and healthy behavior. This paper studies the effect of a nutrition information intervention on household dietary behavior, hemoglobin levels, and cognitive outcomes of children in rural India. Using experimental data and regression discontinuity design that exploits the exogenous cutoff of hemoglobin level for anemia, we find statistically insignificant treatment effects on dietary improvements, child health, and cognitive outcomes of children. Our findings suggest that light-touch nutrition information alone, even when parents are informed about the health risk of their children, may not promote healthy behavior and factors other than information might constrain households in making nutritional investments for their children.
    Keywords: cognition, anemia, child health, health information, regression discontinuity, India
    Date: 2021–03
  4. By: Qian, Yuting; Chen, Xi; Tang, Diwen; Kelley, Amy S.; Li, Jing
    Abstract: Cognitive impairment creates significant challenges to health and well-being of the fast-growing aging population. Early recognition of cognitive impairment may confer important advantages, allowing for diagnosis and appropriate treatment, education, psychosocial support, and improved decision-making regarding life planning, health care, and financial matters. Yet the prevalence of memory-related diagnoses among older adults with early symptoms of cognitive impairment is unknown. Using 2000-2014 Health and Retirement Survey - Medicare linked data, we leveraged within-individual variation in a longitudinal cohort design to examine the relationship between incident cognitive impairment and receipt of diagnosis among American older adults. Receipt of a memory-related diagnosis was determined by ICD-9-CM codes. Incident cognitive impairment was assessed using the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICS). We found overall low prevalence of early memory-related diagnosis, or high rate of underdiagnosis, among older adults showing symptoms of cognitive impairment, especially among non-whites and socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroups. Our findings call for targeted interventions to improve the rate of early diagnosis, especially among vulnerable populations.
    Keywords: cognitive impairment,cognitive aging,dementia,Medicare,memory-related diagnosis
    JEL: I11 I14 J14 I18 R20
    Date: 2021

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