Tag Archive: children

2nd LABEL – IEPR Conference

“Understanding cognition and decision making by children”

 May 4 – 5, 2017



  Thursday, May 4, 2017
 Radisson Los Angeles at USC
Victory AB Room
3540 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90007

8:45 –  9:15   Continental Breakfast

9:15 –  9:30   Introductory remarks  

9:30 – 10:15   “The role of agency in regret and relief in 3- to 10-year-old children”Giorgio Coricelli (USC)

10:15 – 11:00  “Young Children’s Exploration of Alternative Possibilities”.  Henrike Moll (USC)

11:00 – 11:30   Coffee break

11:30 – 12:15   “Navigating Uncertainty: Neural Correlates of Decisions from Experience in Adolescence”. Wouter van de Bos (Max Planck – Berlin)

12:15 – 1:45   Lunch

1:45 – 2:30   “The Costs and Benefits of Growing Up”. Michael Norton (Harvard U.)

2:30 – 3:15   “Using economic experiments to detect drivers of behavior at early ages: Evidence from a large field experiment in Chicago”. Ragan Petrie (Texas A&M)                                        

3:15 – 3:45   Coffee break  

3:45 – 4:30   “Does the little mermaid compete? An experiment on competitiveness with children”Marco Piovesan (U. Copenhagen)

6:30              Dinner (by invitation)



Friday May 5, 2017
Radisson Los Angeles at USC
Victory AB Room
3540 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007


9:00 – 9:30   Continental Breakfast

9:30 – 10:15   “Altruism and strategic giving in children and adolescents”. Isabelle Brocas (USC)

10:15 – 11:00   “Theory of Mind among Disadvantaged Children”. Aldo Rustichini (U. Minnesota)

11:00 – 11:30   Coffee break

11:30 – 12:15   “The development of reciprocal sharing in relation to intertemporal choice”. Felix Warneken (Harvard U.)

12:15 – 1:45   Lunch

1:45 – 2:30   “Group and Normative Influences on Children’s Exchange Behavior”. Yarrow Dunham (Yale U.)

2:30 – 3:15   “The role of social preferences and emotions in children’s decision making -a view from developmental psychology”. Michaela Gummerum (Plymouth U.)

3:15 – 3:45   Coffee Break

3:45 – 4:30   “Socio-cognitive mechanisms of prosocial behavior”. Nadia Chernyak (Boston U.)


This is the paper we are going to present in Econ 206’s class on next Tuesday. Good luck for us all! Notes in PDF, and Paper.

Some Background:

The trade-off between quantity and quality is a much-discussed issue in economics. In recent decades, economists have increasingly turned their attention to behavior within families because of its direct implications for such diverse issues such as population growth, inter-generational transfers of wealth, human capital accumulation, and macroeconomic policy. In a pioneering paper written by Gary S. Becker (1960), an economic framework is built by analyzing the factors that determine fertility, in which children are viewed as a durable goods that yield income to parents. Becker maintains that the quality of children is directly related to the amount spent on them, and the number of children desired is directly related to income. Furthermore, many empirical studies performed in the past have demonstrated that quantity and quality of children within a given family often have a negative correlation. Based on this, the Becker and Lewis (1973) paper (that we will present) further explores the interaction between quantity and quality of children. Becker and Lewis explain why the quantity and quality of children are more closely related than any two commodities chosen at random”(page 279). An increase in the quantity of children raises the shadow price (marginal cost) of the quality of children (and vice versa) and it demonstrates that the observed income elasticity of demand with respect to quality of children exceeds income elasticity with respect to quantity, while at the same time the observed price elasticity with respect to quantity is greater than price elasticity with respect to quality.

This paper was published in a special volume of Journal of Political Economy (Vol 81, part 2: New Economic Approaches to Fertility, 1973). Other papers in the volume are also emphasized in the Becker and Lewis article regarding their perspective on children and their quantity and quality trade-off , both theoretically and empirically (such as Schultz, 1973, and Willis, 1973).

The goal of this paper is to tease out and examine the relationship between quantity and quality of children, and to derive and understand the income and price elasticities with respect to both quantity and quality. Overall, the paper argues that the crux of the interaction between quantity and quality of children is a result of the fact that the marginal cost of quality is partially determined by quantity, and the marginal cost of quantity is partially determined by quality. The two are inextricably linked.