Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Links 29.4.15

1. Charlie Munger on academic economics' strengths and weaknesses from Farnam Street.

2. Lead Exposure and Behaviour: Effects on Antisocial and Risky Behavior Among Children and Adolescents (Reyes, 2015). NBER working paper.
Abstract: It is well known that exposure to lead has numerous adverse effects on behavior and development. Using data on two cohorts of children from the NLSY, this paper investigates the effect of early childhood lead exposure on behavior problems from childhood through early adulthood. I find large negative consequences of early childhood lead exposure, in the form of an unfolding series of adverse behavioral outcomes: behavior problems as a child, pregnancy and aggression as a teen, and criminal behavior as a young adult. At the levels of lead that were the norm in United States until the late 1980s, estimated elasticities of these behaviors with respect to lead range between 0.1 and 1.0.

3. What’s the most important thing in statistics that’s not in the textbooks?  from Andrew Gelman..

4. The deadline for abstract submissions for the Behavioural Science workshop for Phd students is tomorrow.

5. Economic, neurobiological, and behavioral perspectives on building America’s future workforce (Knudsen et al., 2006). PNAS.
Abstract: A growing proportion of the U.S. workforce will have been raised in disadvantaged environments that are associated with relatively high proportions of individuals with diminished cognitive and social skills. A cross-disciplinary examination of research in economics, developmental psychology, and neurobiology reveals a striking convergence on a set of common principles that account for the potent effects of early environment on the capacity for human skill development. Central to these principles are the findings that early experiences have a uniquely powerful influence on the development of cognitive and social skills and on brain architecture and neurochemistry, that both skill development and brain maturation are hierarchical processes in which higher level functions depend on, and build on, lower level functions, and that the capacity for change in the foundations of human skill development and neural circuitry is highest earlier in life and decreases over time. These findings lead to the conclusion that the most efficient strategy for strengthening the future workforce, both economically and neurobiologically, and improving its quality of life is to invest in the environments of disadvantaged children during the early childhood years.

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