nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2023‒08‒21
five papers chosen by

  1. Gambling Habits and Probability Judgements in a Bayesian Task Environment By Dickinson, David L.; Reid, Parker
  2. Does Internal Locus of Control Get You Out of Homelessness? By Budría, Santiago; Betancourt-Odio, Alejandro; Wirth, Eszter
  3. Maternal Education and Early Child Development: The Roles of Parental Support for Learning, Learning Materials, and Father Characteristics By Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre; Akyol, Pelin; Aydemira, Abdurrahman B.; Demirci, Murat; Kirdar, Murat G.
  4. The Oral Contraceptive Pill and Adolescents’ Mental Health By Ana Costa-Ramón; N. Meltem Daysal; Ana Rodríguez-González
  5. Imagining the Future: Memory, Simulation and Beliefs By Pedro Bordalo; Giovanni Burro; Katherine Coffman; Nicola Gennaioli; Andrei Shleifer

  1. By: Dickinson, David L. (Appalachian State University); Reid, Parker (Appalachian State University)
    Abstract: Little is known about how gamblers estimate probabilities from multiple information sources. This paper reports on a preregistered study that administered an incentivized Bayesian choice task to n=465 participants (self-reported gamblers and non-gamblers). Our data failed to support our main hypotheses that experienced online gamblers would be more accurate Bayesian decision-makers compared to non-gamblers, that gamblers experienced in games of skill (e.g., poker) would be more accurate than gamblers experienced only in non-skill games (e.g., slots), or that accuracy would differ in females compared to males. Pairwise comparisons between these types of participants also failed to show any difference in decision weights placed on the two information sources. Exploratory analysis, however, revealed interesting effects related to self-reported gambling frequency. Specifically, more frequent online gamblers had lower Bayesian accuracy than infrequent gamblers. Also, those scoring higher in a cognitive reflection task were more Bayesian in weighting information sources when making belief assessments. While we report no main effect of sex on Bayesian accuracy, exploratory analysis found that the decline in accuracy linked to self-reported gambling frequency was stronger for females. Decision modeling found a decreased weight placed on new evidence (over base rate odds) in those who showed decreased accuracy, which suggests a proper incorporation of new information into one's probability assessments is important for more accurate assessment of probabilities in uncertain environments. Our results link frequency of gambling to worse performance in the critical probability assessment skills that should benefit gambling success (i.e., in skill-based games).
    Keywords: gambling, Bayes rule, probability judgements, cognitive reflection
    JEL: C91 D91 D83
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Budría, Santiago (Universidad Nebrija); Betancourt-Odio, Alejandro (Universidad Pontificia Comillas); Wirth, Eszter (Universidad Pontificia Comillas)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of internal locus of control in shaping transitions into homelessness. The data is taken from a longitudinal Australian dataset drawn from a sample of vulnerable individuals. The results, based on a Wooldridge Conditional Maximum Likelihood (WCML) estimator, show that individuals high in internal locus of control are significantly less likely to enter a homeless episode.
    Keywords: locus of control, homelessness, dynamic probit model
    JEL: D31 I32 C23
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre (Sabanci University); Akyol, Pelin (Bilkent University); Aydemira, Abdurrahman B. (Sabanci University); Demirci, Murat (Koc University); Kirdar, Murat G. (Bogazici University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the intergenerational eects of maternal education on the development outcomes of 24- to 59-month-old children in Turkey. As the source of exogenous variation in maternal schooling, we use mothers' exposure to the 1997 education reform in Turkey, which extended the duration of compulsory schooling from 5 to 8 years. The data come from the 2018 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey, which has a rich special module on early child development. We find a substantial increase in mothers' educational attainment and a rise in children's readiness to learn. Our finding is novel because it measures readiness to learn at a very young age rather than cognitive skills at later ages, as the previous studies do. We also find suggestive evidence of a positive impact on children's social-emotional development. Examining the channels, we find that both mothers and fathers, particularly fathers, spend more time with their children, and the variety of activities parents engage with them rises. In addition, learning materials at home, such as books, rise. Also, exploring father outcomes, we find evidence of reductions in the schooling and age gaps between partners, implying an increase in women's bargaining power, and suggestive evidence of a rise in fathers' schooling. These findings about father outcomes are consistent with the signicant rise in fathers' involvement with children.
    Keywords: maternal education, early child development, parental support for learning
    JEL: I26 J13 J24
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Ana Costa-Ramón; N. Meltem Daysal; Ana Rodríguez-González
    Abstract: What is the impact of the oral contraceptive pill on the mental health of adolescent girls? Using administrative data from Denmark and exploiting the variation in the timing of pill initiation in an event study design, we find that the likelihood of a depression diagnosis and antidepressant use increases shortly after pill initiation. We then uncover substantial variation in primary care providers’ tendency to prescribe the pill to adolescents, unrelated to patient characteristics. Being assigned to a high prescribing physician strongly predicts pill use by age 16 and leads to worse mental health outcomes between ages 16-18.
    Keywords: contraceptive pill, mental health, adolescents, prescribing practices
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Pedro Bordalo; Giovanni Burro; Katherine Coffman; Nicola Gennaioli; Andrei Shleifer
    Abstract: How do people form beliefs about novel risks, with which they have little or no experience? Motivated by survey data we collected in 2020, which showed that beliefs about Covid’s lethality depended on a range of personal experiences in unrelated domains, we build a model based on the psychology of selective memory. When a person thinks about an event, different experiences compete for retrieval, and retrieved experiences are used to simulate the event based on how similar they are to it. The model yields predictions on how experiences interfere with each other in recall and how non domain-specific experiences bias beliefs based on their similarity to the assessed event. We test these predictions using data from our Covid survey and from a primed-recall experiment about cyberattack risk. Experiences and their measured similarity to the cued event successfully help explain beliefs, with patterns consistent with our theory. Our approach offers a new, structured way to study and jointly account for systematic biases and substantial belief heterogeneity. Keywords: Similarity, selective recall, disagreement
    Date: 2023

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