nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒04‒25
four papers chosen by

  1. Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental variable approach By Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita; Ghislandi, Simone; Lepinteur, Anthony; Menta, Giorgia
  2. How Do Changes in Economic Conditions Affect Cognitive Function? By Yumi Ishikawa
  3. Birth Weight and Cognitive Development during Childhood: Evidence from India By Kumar, Santosh; Kumar, Kaushalendra; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Nandi, Arindam
  4. The dynamic and heterogeneous effects of retirement on cognitive decline By Schmitz, Hendrik; Westphal, Matthias

  1. By: Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita; Ghislandi, Simone; Lepinteur, Anthony; Menta, Giorgia
    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 instrumentalvariable 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
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2021–02–26
  2. By: Yumi Ishikawa (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, JAPAN)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of changes in economic conditions on cognitive function using individual panel data from the National Survey of the Japanese Elderly. This study captures the objective, subjective, absolute, and relative terms of economic conditions, and examines which aspects of economic conditions in particular affect cognitive function. The results reveal that deterioration in economic conditions damages cognitive function. Particularly, objective economic conditions affect the cognitive function of Japanese men. Furthermore, economic conditions in relative terms are more important than those in absolute terms. The results further suggest that these deteriorating effects could be attributed to less social engagement and low healthcare utilisation owing to a decline in economic conditions.
    Keywords: Ageing; Cognitive function; Economic conditions; the National Survey of the Japanese Elderly; Relative income
    JEL: C23 I14 J14
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Kumar, Santosh (Sam Houston State University); Kumar, Kaushalendra (International Institute for Population Sciences); Laxminarayan, Ramanan (CDDEP); Nandi, Arindam (CDDEP)
    Abstract: Health at birth is an important indicator of human capital development over the life course. This paper uses longitudinal data from the Young Lives survey and employs instrumental variable regression models to estimate the effect of birth weight on cognitive development during childhood in India. We find that a 10 percent increase in birth weight increases cognitive test scores by 8.1 percent or 0.11 standard deviations at ages 5-8 years. Low birth weight infants experienced a lower test score compared with normal birth weight infants. The positive effect of birth weight on a cognitive test score is larger for girls, children from rural households, and those with less-educated mothers. Our findings suggest that health policies designed to improve birth weight could improve human capital in resource-poor settings.
    Keywords: children, PPVT, cognition, test score, birth weight, instrumental variable, India
    JEL: I12 I15 I18 J13 J24 O12
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Schmitz, Hendrik; Westphal, Matthias
    Abstract: We study effects of retirement on cognitive abilities (up to ten years after retirement) using data from 21 countries in Continental Europe, England, and the US, and exploiting early-retirement thresholds for identification. For this purpose, combines event-study estimations with the marginal treatment effect framework to allow for effect heterogeneity. This helps to decompose event-study estimates into true medium-run effects of retirement and effects driven by differential retirement preferences. Our results suggest considerable negative effects of retirement on cognitive abilities. We also detect substantial effect heterogeneity: Those who retire as early as possible are not affected while those who retire later exhibit negative effects.
    Keywords: Cognitive abilities,retirement,event study,marginal treatment effects
    JEL: C31 J14 J24
    Date: 2021

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