nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2023‒10‒23
five papers chosen by
Daniel Houser, George Mason University


  1. Parenting with Patience: Parental Incentives and Child Development By Daniela Del Boca; Christopher Flinn; Ewout Verriest; Matthew Wiswall
  2. Do Behavioral Drivers Matter for Healthcare Decision-making in Times of Crisis?: A study of Low-Income Women in El Salvador During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Bernal, Pedro; Daga, Giuliana; Kossuth, Lajos; Lopez Boo, Florencia
  3. Socioemotional Learning in Early Childhood Education: Experimental Evidence from the Think Equal Program’s Implementation in Colombia By Mateo-Berganza Díaz, María Mercedes; Näslund-Hadley, Emma; Cabra, Margarita; Vélez Medina, Laura Felizia
  4. Hybrid parental training to foster play-based early childhood development: experimental evidence from Mexico By Berlanga, Cecilia; Näslund-Hadley, Emma; Fernández García, Enrique; Hernández Agramonte, Juan Manuel
  5. Initial inequality, unequal development: Effects of family movements on child development By Rodrigo Ceni; Maira Colacce; Gonzalo Salas

  1. By: Daniela Del Boca; Christopher Flinn; Ewout Verriest; Matthew Wiswall
    Abstract: We construct a dynamic model of child development where forward-looking parents and children jointly take actions to increase the child’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills within a Markov Perfect Equilibrium framework. In addition to time and money investments in their child, parents also choose whether to use explicit incentives to increase the child’s self-investment, which may reduce the child’s future intrinsic motivation to invest by reducing the child’s discount factor. We use the estimated model parameters to show that the use of extrinsic motivation has large costs in terms of the child’s future incentives to invest in themselves.
    Keywords: time allocation, child development, parenting styles
    JEL: J13 D10
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ces:ceswps:_10641&r=neu
  2. By: Bernal, Pedro; Daga, Giuliana; Kossuth, Lajos; Lopez Boo, Florencia
    Abstract: Understanding health-seeking behaviors and their drivers is key for governments to manage health policies. There is a growing literature on the role of cognitive biases and heuristics in health and care-seeking behaviors, but little is known of how they might be influenced during a context of heightened anxiety and uncertainty. This study analyzes the relationship between four behavioral predictors the internal locus of control, impatience, optimism bias, and aspirations and healthcare decisions among low-income women in El Salvador. We find positive associations between internal locus of control and preventive health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic (use of masks, distance, hand washing, and COVID-19 vaccination) and in general (prenatal checkups, iron-rich diets for children and hypertension tests). Measures of impatience negatively correlate with COVID-19 prevention behaviors and mothers micronutrient treatment adherence for children, and optimism bias and educational aspirations with healthcare-seeking behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some associations were more robust during the pandemic, suggesting that feelings of uncertainty and stress could enhance behavioral drivers influence on health-related behaviors, a novel and relevant finding in the literature relevant for the design of policy responses for future shocks.
    Keywords: healthcare decision-making;behavioral economics;COVID-19;low-income setting;Latin America;El Salvador
    JEL: I12 D10 D91 I30
    Date: 2023–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:brikps:13052&r=neu
  3. By: Mateo-Berganza Díaz, María Mercedes; Näslund-Hadley, Emma; Cabra, Margarita; Vélez Medina, Laura Felizia
    Abstract: In this article we experimentally evaluate Colombia’s Think Equal program, which teaches socioemotional skills to children ages 3 to 6. Given the context of COVID-19, the original design was adapted as a hybrid model, alternating in-person and remote instruction and engaging families in the implementation of the curriculum. We found that the program had positive effects on children’s prosocial behavior, self-awareness, and cognitive learning. The intervention also had an impact on education centers personnel (community mothers) and caregivers implementing the activities. Treated community mothers had higher levels of empathy, lower negative health symptoms, better pedagogical practices, and a closer relationship with the children’s caregivers compared with those in the control group. Treated caregivers had better stimulation practices and lower negative health symptoms compared with those in the control group. These findings suggest that a well-designed intervention has the potential to develop socioemotional skills in children at an early age and, at the same time, to develop capacities in those who implement the activities. Our results have important implications for the design, implementation, and evaluation of early childhood socioemotional learning programs and provide novel evidence about the challenges faced by interventions combining face-to-face and remote learning.
    Keywords: Preschool learning;socioemotional learning;early childhood development;parent engagement;randomized controlled trial
    JEL: C93 I20 I24
    Date: 2023–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:brikps:12829&r=neu
  4. By: Berlanga, Cecilia; Näslund-Hadley, Emma; Fernández García, Enrique; Hernández Agramonte, Juan Manuel
    Abstract: Play during early childhood is key to stimulating childrens physical, social, emotional and cognitive development; it promotes their imagination and creativity, improves their problem-solving skills and enhances their learning readiness by providing the foundations to build skills later in their lives. Parental engagement in play-based learning at home is one of the behaviors most consistently associated with positive child development. However, it is concerning that levels of parental engagement in play activities have been found to be lower in low-resourced settings. Additionally, research on play-based learning is largely limited to high-income countries and little is known about the use of hybrid interventions that promote play-based learning at home. This study uses an experimental design to estimate the effects of a hybrid large-scale parental program to promote play-based learning in the state of Morelos, Mexico. We found a positive impact on parental investment, as caregivers of the treatment group had a FCI 0.13 SD higher than the control group. The treatment group performed the following activities more often than the control group: reading books /looking at pictures (0.12 SD), singing songs (0.11 SD), and playing with toys (0.17 SD), which incentivize learning, emotional and cognitive skills development in children. The study also found a significant effect of 0.19 SD on the CDC index for those caregivers who invested less than the median FCI at the baseline. Our findings support the importance of parental training for increased quality and time of caregiver investments in play activities, which lead to improved child outcomes, especially among children in households with the lowest levels of caregiver investment at baseline.
    Keywords: Play-based learning;early childhood development;parental engagement;Hybrid Education;Low- and middle-income countries;COVID-19;randomized controlled trial
    JEL: C93 I20 I24
    Date: 2023–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:brikps:12841&r=neu
  5. By: Rodrigo Ceni (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Maira Colacce (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gonzalo Salas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: The article evaluates the link between family movements and children’s socioemotional development. Using a longitudinal survey, we can track the number and role of household members and measure the children’s development. We identify the movements of household members during the first seven years of a child’s life. Our findings indicate that the entry of a new member into the household has a negative impact of approximately 0.2 to 0.3 standard deviations on externalizing and internalizing problems, particularly among low-educated households. These entries affect household life, undermining housing quality and limiting the mother’s ability to manage her time effectively. The limited access to maternity leave and breastfeeding working conditions do intensify these inequalities. By analyzing specific movements, we observe that the father’s long-lasting absence impacts externalizing problems. These results hold strong across different samples and specifications, and our study gains causal power by employing the Oster methodology. Despite the impacts on high- and low-educated households, their background plays a role in coping with stressful environments. In low-educated households, stabilization is not achievable even after several months, further exacerbating socioemotional problems.
    Keywords: family Instability, panel Data, inequality, socio-emotional development, Uruguay
    JEL: J12 J13 R20
    Date: 2023–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-07-23&r=neu

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