nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒07‒11
four papers chosen by

  1. Maternal Postpartum Depression Effects on Child's Health By Schiavon, Lucia
  2. Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Abilities at Older Ages? Causal Evidence from Nonparametric Bounds By Amin, Vikesh; Behrman, Jere R.; Fletcher, Jason M.; Flores, Carlos A.; Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso; Kohler, Hans-Peter
  3. Preferences predict who commits crime among young men By Thomas Epper; Ernst Fehr; Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg; Claus Thustrup Kreiner; Soren Leth-Petersen; Gregers Nytoft Rasmussen
  4. Peers Affect Personality Development By Shan, Xiaoyue; Zölitz, Ulf

  1. By: Schiavon, Lucia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Several studies indicate that children, whose mother experienced postpartum depression, are at greater risks of emotional, behavioural, cognitive and interpersonal problems later in life. However, maternal postpartum depression might influence child’s development by affecting his health outcomes. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK data service), we investigate whether maternal postpartum depression has any impact on early child health development and if differences exist when the child is the first-born. In detail, we study the effects of maternal postpartum depression on a range of potential child health diseases at ages of 3, 5, 7 and 11 years and on the number of injuries or accidents occurred at the child, for which he was taken to the hospital. Our findings show a non-negligible impact of maternal postpartum depression for first-born children on those health issues enhanced by a stressful environment: wheezing (throughout childhood) and hay fever (at early ages). At later ages (7 and 11 years), children with a mother who experienced postpartum depression are also more likely to suffer from asthma. Furthermore, results indicate a significant strong effect of maternal postpartum depression on the accident rate at the ages of 3 and 5 years (the incidence-rate ratios are of 1.205 and 1.289 respectively).
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Amin, Vikesh; Behrman, Jere R.; Fletcher, Jason M.; Flores, Carlos A.; Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso; Kohler, Hans-Peter
    Abstract: We revisit the much-investigated relationship between schooling and health, focusing on cognitive abilities at older ages using the Harmonized Cognition Assessment Protocol in the Health & Retirement Study. To address endogeneity concerns, we employ a nonparametric partial identification approach that provides bounds on the population average treatment effect using a monotone instrumental variable together with relatively weak monotonicity assumptions on treatment selection and response. The bounds indicate potentially large effects of increasing schooling from primary to secondary but are also consistent with small and null effects. We find evidence for a causal effect of increasing schooling from secondary to tertiary on cognition. We also replicate findings from the Health & Retirement Study using another sample of older adults from the Midlife in United States Development Study Cognition Project.
    Keywords: Schooling,Cognition,Bounds,Aging,Partial Identification
    JEL: I10 I26 J14
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Thomas Epper (IÉSEG School Of Management [Puteaux], LEM - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Management - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (... - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015-2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur, KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet); Ernst Fehr (KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet); Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg (KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet); Claus Thustrup Kreiner (KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet); Soren Leth-Petersen (KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet); Gregers Nytoft Rasmussen (KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet)
    Abstract: Understanding who commits crime and why is a key topic in social science and important for the design of crime prevention policy. In theory, people who commit crime face different social and economic incentives for criminal activity than other people, or they evaluate the costs and benefits of crime differently because they have different preferences. Empirical evidence on the role of preferences is scarce. Theoretically, risk-tolerant, impatient, and self-interested people are more prone to commit crime than risk-averse, patient, and altruistic people. We test these predictions with a unique combination of data where we use incentivized experiments to elicit the preferences of young men and link these experimental data to their criminal records. In addition, our data allow us to control extensively for other characteristics such as cognitive skills, socioeconomic background, and self-control problems. We find that preferences are strongly associated with actual criminal behavior. Impatience and, in particular, risk tolerance are still strong predictors when we include the full battery of controls. Crime propensities are 8 to 10 percentage points higher for the most risk-tolerant individuals compared to the most risk averse. This effect is half the size of the effect of cognitive skills, which is known to be a very strong predictor of criminal behavior. Looking into different types of crime, we find that preferences significantly predict property offenses, while self-control problems significantly predict violent, drug, and sexual offenses.
    Keywords: crime,risk preference,time preference,self-control,altruism
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Shan, Xiaoyue (University of Pennsylvania); Zölitz, Ulf (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Do the people around us influence our personality? To answer this question, we conduct an experiment with 543 university students who we randomly assign to study groups. Our results show that students become more similar to their peers along several dimensions. Students with more competitive peers become more competitive, students with more open-minded peers become more open-minded, and students with more conscientious peers become more conscientious. We see no significant effects of peers’ extraversion, agreeableness, or neuroticism. To explain these results, we propose a simple model of personality development under the influence of peers. Consistent with the model’s prediction, personality spillovers are concentrated in traits predictive of performance. Students adopt personality traits that are productive in the university context from their peers. Our findings highlight that socialization with peers can influence personality development.
    Keywords: peer effects, malleability, personality, experiment
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2022–04

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