nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2023‒10‒09
three papers chosen by
Daniel Houser, George Mason University


  1. Mindfulness Training, Cognitive Performance and Stress Reduction By Gary Charness; Yves Le Bihan; Marie Claire Villeval
  2. Heterogeneous Treatment Effect of Retirement on Cognitive Function By Koryu Sato; Haruko Noguchi; Kosuke Inoue
  3. Measuring Higher-Order Rationality with Belief Control By Wei James Chen; Meng-Jhang Fong; Po-Hsuan Lin

  1. By: Gary Charness (Department of Economics, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA); Yves Le Bihan (Institut Français du Leadership Positif. 4 place Amédée Bonnet 69002 Lyon, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France; IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: Improving cognitive function and reducing stress may yield important benefits to individuals’ health and to society. We conduct an experiment involving a three-month within-firm training program based on the principles of mindfulness and positive psychology at three large companies. We find an improvement in the difference-in-differences across the training and control groups in all five non-incentivized measures and in seven of the eight incentivized tasks but only the non-incentivized measures and one of the incentivized measures reached a standard level of significance (above 5%), showing strong evidence of its impact on both reducing perceived stress and increasing self-reported cognitive flexibility and mindfulness. At the aggregate level, we identify an average treatment effect on the treated for the non-incentivized measures and some effect for the incentivized measures. Remarkably, the treatment effects persisted three months after the training sessions ended. Overall, mindfulness training seems to provide benefits for psychological and cognitive health in adults.
    Keywords: Mindfulness, Attention, Cognition, Stress, Lab-in-the-Field Experiment
    JEL: C91 I12
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:gat:wpaper:2315&r=neu
  2. By: Koryu Sato (Department of Social Epidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Kyoto University); Haruko Noguchi (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Kosuke Inoue (the Hakubi Project, Department of Social Epidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: This study used instrumental variable causal forests to explore the heterogeneous treatment effect of retirement on cognitive function using data from 19 countries. We found that, on average, retirees have better cognitive function than workers and that the conditional average treatment effects vary depending on individuals’ characteristics. Policymakers should provide early retirement options in the pension system to allow individuals to decide when to retire. The balance between the social benefits of raising the state pension age and the individual costs of increasing the risk of dementia by delaying retirement should be considered.
    JEL: I10 J26 C26
    Date: 2023–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wap:wpaper:2306&r=neu
  3. By: Wei James Chen; Meng-Jhang Fong; Po-Hsuan Lin
    Abstract: Determining an individual's strategic reasoning capability based solely on choice data is a complex task. This complexity arises because sophisticated players might have non-equilibrium beliefs about others, leading to non-equilibrium actions. In our study, we pair human participants with computer players known to be fully rational. This use of robot players allows us to disentangle limited reasoning capacity from belief formation and social biases. Our results show that, when paired with robots, subjects consistently demonstrate higher levels of rationality and maintain stable rationality levels across different games compared to when paired with humans. This suggests that strategic reasoning might indeed be a consistent trait in individuals. Furthermore, the identified rationality limits could serve as a measure for evaluating an individual's strategic capacity when their beliefs about others are adequately controlled.
    Date: 2023–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:arx:papers:2309.07427&r=neu

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