nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒04‒18
three papers chosen by

  1. The intergenerational transmission of cognitive skills: An investigation of the causal impact of families on student outcomes By Hanushek, Eric Alan; Jacobs, Babs; Schwerdt, Guido; van der Velden, Rolf; Vermeulen, Stan; Wiederhold, Simon
  2. Lie O'Clock: Experimental Evidence on Intertemporal Lying Preferences By Georgia Michailidou; Hande Erkut
  3. The Gender Gap in Top Jobs – The Role of Overconfidence By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Shure, Nikki

  1. By: Hanushek, Eric Alan; Jacobs, Babs; Schwerdt, Guido; van der Velden, Rolf; Vermeulen, Stan; Wiederhold, Simon
    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 the connection between cognitive skills of parents and their children by exploiting within-family between-subject variation in these skills. A causal interpretation of the between-subject estimates is reinforced by novel IV estimation that isolates variation in parent cognitive skills due to teacher and classroom 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.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility,parent-child skill transmission,causality,STEM
    JEL: I24 I26 J12 J24 J62
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Georgia Michailidou; Hande Erkut (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: In lying utility models, benefits and costs typically occur presently and simultaneously. However, lying and its products often develop asynchronously. To evaluate how these asynchronies affect the psychological costs of lying, we develop an experiment in which lying decisions occur presently, while externalities (external costs) and observability (internal costs) occur in future temporal brackets. To assess if lying costs or social preferences drive our findings, we compare against a baseline in which lying opportunities become simple distributive choices. We report significant behavioral differences when outcomes occur as products of lying rather than distributive choices which suggests that lying, per se, begets distinct psychological costs. Further, the results from exponential and quasi-hyperbolic discounting estimations suggest that temporally distancing antisocial decision-making from its consequences dilutes the associated psychological costs. External psychological costs caused by lying are discounted less and are subject to milder present-bias compared to those produced by distributive choices while manipulating internal psychological costs via observability attenuates discounting and present-bias in both cases.
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna (UCL Institute of Education); Shure, Nikki (University College London)
    Abstract: There is a large gender gap in the probability of being in a "top job" in mid-career. Top jobs bring higher earnings, and also have more job security and better career trajectories. Recent literature has raised the possibility that some of this gap may be attributable to women not "leaning in" while men are more overconfident in their abilities. We use longitudinal data from childhood into mid-career and construct a measure of overconfidence using multiple measures of objective cognitive ability and subjective estimated ability. Our measure confirms previous findings that men are more overconfident than women. We then use linear regression and decomposition techniques to account for the gender gap in top jobs including our measure of overconfidence. Our results show that men being more overconfident explains 5-11 percent of the gender gap in top job employment. This contribution is statistically significant although small in magnitude. This indicates that while overconfidence matters for gender inequality in the labor market and has implications for how firms recruit and promote workers, other individual, structural, and societal factors play a larger role.
    Keywords: gender gaps, inequality, overconfidence, labor market
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2022–03

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.