Selected Topics in Behavioral Economics: Competitiveness, Early Childhood Development, Communicating Externalities, Empathy and Trust
Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM (CST)
- Chair: Mark Pingle, University of Nevada-Reno
Are You Listening? The Impact of Parental Communications on Early Childhood Development
AbstractThis paper develops a Machine Learning (ML) based algorithm that identifies parental behaviors that lead to higher cognitive and non-cognitive development in children. The tone algorithm developed here extracts acoustic features from recorded audios of a home visiting experiment that has been implemented on 90 parent-child dyads followed pre- and post-intervention for a year. These features cover a wide range of features in time and frequency domain for each one second frame for all audio files in the dataset, and then use a neural network model to identify the speaker (mother, father, child) in each one second frame. In addition, developmental outcomes for children (including vocabulary, math, and socio-emotional scores) have been measured post-intervention. Statistical analysis and decision tree models, such as Random Forest, for children in the treatment and control groups will be applied to identify positive (reinforcing) and negative (weakening) behaviors. Since the number of extracted features from each audio is large, the algorithm uses unsupervised learning methods such as autoencoder for dimensionality reduction. Finally, the identified set of parental interactions are compared with several speaking styles (such as “parentese”) that are well-studied by researchers to promote higher brain development.
The impact of narratives on opinions: Evidence regarding negative externalities
AbstractWe use factorial vignette design to examine whether people believe it is fair to impose external costs on bystanders when engaging in market activity, and whether fairness attitudes are influenced by the framing and narrative used to communicate about the external costs. We present participants with five vignettes in which the framing and narrative used to describe the external cost vary randomly. Participants are asked to rate both the fairness of the externality-producing behavior and a government intervention meant to address the external costs. We find that participants generally perceive negative externalities as not fair and government actions meant to ameliorate the externality as fair.
Empathy and Trust
AbstractThe investment game of Berg et al (1995) is more commonly referred to as the trust game because a first mover transferring value to the second mover is trusting that something will over-ride the material self-interest of the second mover. Berg et al identified positive reciprocity as the factor most likely motivating the observed trustworthiness of second movers in their game. However, there are other possible explanations, including altruism, a desire to see value created, inequality aversion, and more. Our “empathy game” as a simplified version of the trust game, which strips away positive reciprocity and most factors that might motivate trustworthiness, but leaves empathy as a possible motivator. The results indicate empathy is a weak motivator, but it is sufficient to over-ride self-interest. To the extent that empathy is a useful quality, those who have interest can use the empathy game to measure empathy.
- D9 - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
- C9 - Design of Experiments