nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2023‒01‒02
two papers chosen by

  1. Neuroticism and Sport: How Personality affects Lifestyle in the UK By Rowan Cherodian; Adelina Gschwandtner; Sarah L. Jewell; Uma Kambhampati
  2. Heads Up: Does Air Pollution Cause Workplace Accidents? By Victor Lavy; Genia Rachkovski; Omry Yoresh

  1. By: Rowan Cherodian; Adelina Gschwandtner; Sarah L. Jewell; Uma Kambhampati
    Abstract: In recent years, researchers have become increasingly aware of the impact that personality traits have on individual lifestyle decisions, both positive and negative. Using longitudinal data from a large household survey as well as genetic information from the UK, the present study unveils the causal relationship between neuroticism as a personality trait and sports activity. Our results suggest that neuroticism leads individuals to perform less sports activities. While this result is intuitive, our method establishes causality and draws attention to the difficulty of policy in this area. In particular, one of the main ways recommended to help improve neuroticism is exercise but our results indicate that neurotic individuals are less likely to take up sporting activity. In this context, tailoring lifestyle recommendations to personality would significantly improve their results and help increase the efficacy of health policy. This is important to reduce the economic burden of ill health.
    Keywords: Big5 Personality Traits; Neuroticism; Exercise; Lifestyle; Personalized Medical Care
    JEL: I12 I14 I31 C18 D91 Z20
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Victor Lavy; Genia Rachkovski; Omry Yoresh
    Abstract: Literature has shown that air pollution can have short- and long-term adverse effects on physiological and cognitive performance, leading to adverse outcomes in the labor market. In this study, we estimate the effect of increased nitrogen dioxide (NO₂), one of the primary air pollutants, on the likelihood of accidents in construction sites, a significant factor related to productivity losses in the labor market. Using data from all construction sites and pollution monitoring stations in Israel, we find a strong and significant connection between air pollution and construction site accidents. We find that a 10-ppb increase in NO₂ levels increases the likelihood of an accident by as much as 25 percent. We observe strong nonlinear treatment effects, mainly driven by very high levels of NO₂. The probability of an accident is almost quadrupled when NO₂ levels cross into levels considered by the EPA as “unhealthy” (above the 99th percentile in our sample) compared to levels considered “clean” (below the 95th percentile in our sample). We also implement a set of instrumental variable analyses to support the causal interpretation of the results and present evidence suggestive of a mechanism where the effect of pollution is exacerbated in conditions with high cognitive strain or worker fatigue. Finally, we perform a cost-benefit analysis, supported by a nonparametric estimation and institutional information, which examines the viability of a potential welfare-improving policy to subsidize the closure of construction sites on highly polluted days.
    JEL: J01 I10 I15 J24 Q51 Q52 Q53
    Date: 2022–12

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