nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2021‒11‒29
four papers chosen by

  1. The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive Skills: An Investigation of the Causal Impact of Families on Student Outcomes By Eric A. Hanushek; Babs Jacobs; Guido Schwerdt; Rolf van der Velden; Stan Vermeulen; Simon Wiederhold
  2. Many Rivers to Cross: Social Identity, Cognition and Labour Mobility in Rural India By Michiels, Sébastien; Nordman, Christophe Jalil; Seetahul, Suneha
  3. Coed vs Single-Sex Schooling: An Empirical Study on Mental Health Outcomes By Seul-Ki Kim; Young-Chul Kim
  4. Cross-Game Learning and Cognitive Ability in Auctions By Thomas Giebe; Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel; Martin G. Kocher; Simeon Schudy

  1. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Babs Jacobs; Guido Schwerdt; Rolf van der Velden; Stan Vermeulen; Simon Wiederhold
    Abstract: The extensive literature on intergenerational mobility highlights the importance of family linkages but fails to provide credible evidence about the underlying family factors that drive the pervasive correlations. We employ a unique combination of Dutch survey and registry data that links math and language skills across generations. We identify a causal connection between cognitive skills of parents and their children by exploiting within-family between-subject variation in these skills. The data also permit novel IV estimation that isolates variation in parental cognitive skills due to school and peer quality. The between-subject and IV estimates of the key intergenerational persistence parameter are strikingly similar and close at about 0.1. Finally, we show the strong influence of family skill transmission on children’s choices of STEM fields.
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: Michiels, Sébastien (CREST); Nordman, Christophe Jalil (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine); Seetahul, Suneha (World Bank)
    Abstract: By considering the case of rural South India, this study analyses whether individual skills and personality traits are able to facilitate labour market mobility of disadvantaged groups in the presence of constraining social structures. We use an individual panel dataset built on two household surveys carried out in 2010 and 2016-2017 in Tamil Nadu. We explore the relationship between individual cognitive skills (Raven, literacy and numeracy scores), personality traits (Big Five Inventory) and earnings mobility. We first assess the extent of gender and caste-based labour market segmentation using transition matrices. Then, we take advantage of intra-group heterogeneity in terms of cognitive skills and personality traits to explore whether these personal characteristics can enable individuals to overcome rigid social structures. Results show that personality traits are important determinants of labour mobility. Nonetheless, we observe a strong rigidity of the labour market structure in terms of gender and caste, and its relative stillness over time.
    Keywords: occupational transition, income mobility, cognitive skills, personality, Tamil Nadu, India
    JEL: J24 J31 J71 O12
    Date: 2021–10
  3. By: Seul-Ki Kim (Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul); Young-Chul Kim (Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul)
    Abstract: There is a growing debate around the differential cognitive impacts of coeducational and single-sex education; however, little is known about their non-cognitive impacts. This study inves-tigates the effects of single-sex schooling on students' mental health, focusing on feeling blue, happiness, and suicidal ideation. Employing a nationally representative large-scale dataset regarding middle school students in South Korea, we found that single-sex schooling has significant positive effects on mental health outcomes, especially for girls. Subsequent examination of the possible channels revealed that while single-sex schooling increases the pressure regarding test scores, it reduces the mental stress that can arise from students' peer relationships or personal appearance. Further examination using separate national-level youth panel data confirmed that single-sex schooling reduces depression and improves self-esteem and school aspirations. These findings imply that the bene ts of single-sex education may be stronger than previously thought and more comprehensive discussions on school formation policies should be pursued.
    Keywords: Single-sex Schooling; Mental Health; Non-cognitive Outcomes; School Formation
    JEL: I10 I21 I31 J16
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Thomas Giebe; Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel; Martin G. Kocher; Simeon Schudy
    Abstract: Overbidding in second-price auctions (SPAs) has been shown to be persistent and associated with cognitive ability. We study experimentally to what extent cross-game learning can reduce overbidding in SPAs, taking into account cognitive skills. Employing an order-balanced design, we use first-price auctions (FPAs) to expose participants to an auction format in which losses from high bids are more salient than in SPAs. Experience in FPAs causes substantial cross-game learning for cognitively less able participants but does not affect overbidding for the cognitively more able. Vice versa, experiencing SPAs before bidding in an FPA does not affect bidding behavior by the cognitively less able but, somewhat surprisingly, reduces bid shading by cognitively more able participants, resulting in lower profits in FPAs. Thus, cross-game learning has the potential to benefit bidders with lower cognitive ability whereas it has little or even adverse effects for higher ability bidders.
    Keywords: cognitive ability, cross-game learning, experiment, auction, heuristics, first-price auctions, second-price auctions
    JEL: C72 C91 D44 D83
    Date: 2021

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