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Category Archives: Decision Making & Behavior Economics

Education Improves Some Aspects Of Health But May Worsen Others

We study how secondary education affects different dimensions of health in middle age. A policy change in England, Wales, and Scotland that increased the minimum school-leaving age from 15 to 16 years old improved health by reducing body fat and lung conditions, but it also increased blood pressure. (more…)

Encouraging Healthy Eating Among Children: It Turns Out We Just Have to Ask.

An RCT found that verbal prompts in the school lunch-line are an effective way to improve child food choice and consumption. Schools, teachers and cafeteria workers could adopt such strategies to improve children’s food choice and health.

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Could “Shy” Trump Voters’ Discomfort With Disclosing Candidate Choice Have Skewed Telephone Polls? Evidence from the USC Election Poll

We analysed data from the USC Dornsife/ LA Time 2016 Election Daybreak Poll on respondents’ comfort levels with disclosing presidential candidate choice to friends, family, acquaintances, and pollsters. Results are consistent with a “shy” or “hidden” voter effect. (more…)

Cognitive Ability and Financial Capability

We know that income and education are positively associated with financial capability, but we understand less about the impact of other underlying factors, such as motivation, self-control and propensity to plan. This blogpost considers one of these factors, cognitive ability, and discusses how financial decisions and wellbeing vary with cognition within income and education groups. (more…)

Is Class-Based Discrimination an Obstacle to Equal Opportunity in the Labor Market?

Social class origin remains one of the most powerful determinants of success in today’s labor market.  New experimental research suggests that employers’ own class biases may be a part of the problem.

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Student Loans, Indebtedness and Financial Literacy in the United States

CESR researchers examine changes in Americans’ financial capability since 2009. They find persistent concerns regarding indebtedness and financial literacy, but improvements in precautionary savings.

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Surveys and Character Skills: The Information we Reveal Without Even Trying

Measuring effort people put forward on surveys could provide us with information on important character skills related to conscientiousness and diligence.

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Adverse Selection and Marriage Timing: Does HIV Testing Accelerate Marriage?

The HIV/AIDS Epidemic is associated with delayed marriage and fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa.  An experiment shows that routine HIV testing could reverse this pattern. (more…)

Repairing Democracy: We Can’t All Get What We Want, But Can We Avoid Getting What Most of Us *Really* Don’t Want?

This post illustrates what multicandidate open voting could look like if voters had the option to vote for one candidate, to vote against one candidate, or to rate all the different candidates in more complex ways. Data collected in the heat of the 2016 US presidential primaries suggests that the result would have been dramatically different than under the current system. (more…)

Can Asking About People’s Social Circles Inform Election Predictions?

Asking people about how their social circles will vote, as in the 2016 USC Dornsife / LA Times Presidential Election Poll, might help to predict people’s voting behavior.

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