DCS - Otros documentos

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  • Publication
    A model of indirect crowding
    (2023-10) Foley, William Michael; Radl, Jonas
    The introduction of material rewards has often been proposed to improve the participation of disadvantaged people in areas such as education, politics, and sustainability. But people differ in their intrinsic motivation to exert effort on a given task. And, as the literature on "crowding" effects emphasizes, introducing incentives can sometimes alter intrinsic motivation, or its association with effort. We introduce a distinction between "direct" crowding, which directly affects intrinsic motivation, and "indirect" crowding, which affects the relationship between intrinsic motivation and effort. The former is intriguing, but likely of limited generalizability. The latter, we argue, is of greater prevalence. We present a simple model of indirect crowding, building on extant cognitive and social scientific approaches. The model shows that if the marginal costs increase quickly (relative to the marginal benefits), then increasing material incentives leads to "indirect crowding out": individuals with low intrinsic motivation increase effort at a greater rate than highly motivated individuals. Conversely, if marginal costs increase slowly relative to marginal benefits, "indirect crowding in" occurs, with highly motivated individuals pulling away from lesser motivated ones. However, this result only holds if total benefit is the sum of intrinsic and extrinsic benefit. If intrinsic and extrinsic benefit are multiplicative, only crowding in can occur. The model demonstrates that introducing or increasing extrinsic rewards may inadvertently increase inequality, with implications for policy makers.
  • Publication
    Material incentives drive gender differences in cognitive effort among children
    (2023-09-12) Apascaritei, Paula; Radl, Jonas; Swarr, Madeline; European Commission
    Academic performance relies on effort and varies by gender. However, it is not clear at what age nor under what circumstances gender differences in effort arise. Using behavioral real-effort measures from 806 fifth-grade students, we find no gender differences in cognitive effort in the absence of rewards. However, boys exert more effort than girls when materially incentivized. Adding a status incentive on top of material rewards does not further increase the gender gap. While boys achieve superior performance through more proactive control and faster reaction speed, we find no gender differences in overall accuracy. Girls' preferences for a more prudent approach pay off only when reactive control is elicited. These findings are robust to controlling for key personality traits and cognitive ability (fluid intelligence). The results have important implications for understanding gender divides in education and learning.
  • Publication
    Parenting practices and children's cognitive effort: a laboratory study
    (2023-07) Foley, William Michael; Radl, Jonas; European Commission
    We examine the association between parenting practices (discipline and support) and children's cognitive effort. Cognitive effort is hard to measure; hence, little is known in general about effort dispositions, and in particular about the influence of parenting practices on effort. We present data from a study on almost 1,400 fifth grade students from Berlin and Madrid. Cognitive effort is measured with tests of executive function. The students do the tests under an unincentivised and incentivised condition. We study two effort-related outcomes: "effort direction" - the child's decision to voluntarily do a real-effort task &- and "effort intensity" - the child's performance on the task. Results indicate that both parental discipline and support are associated with effort direction and the presence of incentives moderates this association. However, only parental discipline is (weakly) associated with effort intensity. We conclude that parenting practices primarily influence deliberative rather than instinctual types of cognitive effort.
  • Publication
    Being a good empiricist: the case of financial instability
    (2021-12) Rodríguez Sánchez, Gonzalo; Medina Sierra, Luis Fernando
    This article examines the Austrian Theory of Business Cycles as well as Minsky’s “financial instability hypothesis” and determine to what extent their explanations of financial crises can be integrated. I conclude that despite their confronting policy implications, both theories are complementary at the theoretical level and can benefit from cross-fertilization. In particular, they trace the root of financial crises to a disturbance of intertemporal coordination, that is, real interest rates.
  • Publication
    Month of birth and cognitive effort: a laboratory study of the relative age effect among fifth graders
    (2023-01) Radl, Jonas; Valdés, Manuel T.; European Commission;
    All around the world school entry cohorts are organized on an annual calendar, so that the age of students in the same cohort differs up to one year. It is a well-established finding that this age gap entails a consequential (dis)advantage for academic performance referred to as the relative age effect (RAE). This study contributes to a recent strand of research that has turned to investigate the RAE on non-academic outcomes such as personality traits. An experimental setup is used to assess the willingness to exert cognitive effort in a sample of 798 fifth grade students enrolled in the Spanish educational system, characterized by strict enrolment rules. After controlling for cognitive ability, we observe that older students outwork their youngest peers by two-fifths of a standard deviation, but only when rewards for performance are in place. Implications for sociological research on educational inequality and policy are discussed.
  • Publication
    Effort and dynamics of educational inequality: Evidence from a laboratory study among primary school children
    (2023-01) Palacios Abad, Alberto; Radl, Jonas; European Commission
    If opportunities were equal, effort would be the main driver of individual success. However, in real life, people do not start the “race of life” with the same endowments. Thus, the study of Inequality of Opportunity in the tradition of John Roemer is dedicated to measuring the share of achievements that is determined by effort – viewed as the only “legitimate” source that is under individual control – versus by circumstances – that is, the “illegitimate” sources of achievement beyond by the individual’s influence. However, effort is often measured either merely as the residual that is left after controlling for a vector of circumstances (such as socioeconomic background, race or gender) or with imperfect proxies such as self-reported psychological traits or attitudes towards learning. The aim of the paper is twofold: First, it intends to assess the importance of “real effort” for determining academic performance in contrast to circumstances. Using an accurate measure of cognitive effort, measured in the lab, we can compare its impact on school grades in Math and Spanish with the effect of having highly educated parents or high IQ. Second, the paper explores the role of teachers’ perception of student effort in their academic grades. We expect that the perception of the teachers will be very relevant for academic performance. Furthermore, we argue that although teachers’ perception of student effort is not the most accurate measure of effort, it might be an important mediator between cognitive effort and academic grades. Data stems from a lab experiment carried out with 380 5th grade students from primary schools in the metropolitan area of Madrid, Spain, during the school year 2019/2020. The schools were randomly selected from a sample stratified by neighborhood income quartile and type of school. All the students carried out three real-effort tasks adopted from economics and psychology (i.e. the Simon, AX and Slider tasks), covering different executive functions. This multidimensional measure of cognitive effort ensures a comprehensive approach to effort that minimizes the influence of ability. We also gathered information on various “circumstances” of the students – such as parental education, gender and IQ (Raven’s Progressive Matrices). Provisional results indicate that effort exerts a sizeable influence on student grades, similar to IQ in the magnitude of its predictive power. Nevertheless, the association between teachers’ perception of student effort and school grades is significantly larger, comparable with the effect of having parents with tertiary education. Furthermore, we find evidence that teachers’ perception of student effort is an important mediator between cognitive effort and school grades, although, interestingly, the magnitude varies depending on the subject.
  • Publication
  • Publication
    World trade, 1800-1938: a new data-set
    (2016-01) Federico, Giovanni; Tena Junguito, Antonio; EHES - European Historical Economics Society
    This paper presents our data-base on world trade from 1800 to 1938. We have collected or estimated series of imports and exports, at current and constant (1913) prices and at current and at constant (1913) borders, for 149 polities. After a short review of the available series, we describe the methods for the construction of the data-base. We then deal with the criteria for the inclusion of polities, the representativeness of our series, the main types of sources, the procedures of deflation and, when necessary, of adjustments to 1913 borders. We discuss the details of the estimation of our polity series in Appendix B. Following Feinstein and Thomas (2001), we assess the reliability of our polity estimates. In the last two sections we present our trade series at current and 1913 borders and compare them with other available series. All data are available in a World Trade 1800-1938 Appendix Excel File.
  • Publication
    The Little Reversal: Capital Markets and Financial Repression in Western Europe In the Second Half of the 20th Century
    (2004) Battilossi, Stefano
    Securities markets in Continental Europe remained relatively underdeveloped throughout the 20th century as compared with those of Anglo-Saxon countries. The “law and finance” strand of literature argues that their secular stagnation can be traced back to legal origins and explained in terms of path dependency – ie, due to the lower protection of shareholders’ and debtors’ rights guaranteed by commercial codes based on the civil law tradition. Recent studies, however, provide ample evidence that the long-term development pattern of securities markets in Europe was not monotonical, but rather follows the ebb and flow of globalization. In fact, capital markets were well developed in a number of civil law countries on the eve of WW1. A “Great Reversal” occurred in the interwar period, from which they did not recover fully until the 1990s. The paper argues that this view of a longterm U-shaped pattern does not reflect accurately the historical experience of European securities markets. In fact, a W-shaped pattern can be observed: securities markets noticeably recovered in the 1960s, before being again marginalized in the 1970s and 80s. The paper attempts to explain this “Little Reversal” within the context of the rise of financial repression regimes in Western Europe. The paper tests empirically the public finance hypothesis, which argues that financial repression is motivated by the government’s attempt to impose implicit taxation on domestic currency- and debt-holders, including the banking system. An index measuring the intensity of financial repression is constructed for a panel of 16 European countries in the period 1950-1991. The determinants of financial repression are then empirically investigated using cross-section time-series data for a set of economic, institutional and political variables.