Research Seminar: Denni Tommasi (Monash University)

Title: "Time of Day and High Stakes Cognitive Assessments"

  • Data: 30 novembre 2020 dalle 12:00 alle 13:15

  • Luogo: Microsoft Teams


Test scores are widely used as a proxy for cognitive ability, human capital, or individual productivity. Exploiting an ideal setting in which cognitive assessments are assigned at different times in a quasi- random fashion, we provide the first estimates of time of day’s impact on high-stakes exam performance. Specifically, using half a million observations on university students, we find that students perform better at lunchtime (1.30 pm) than in the morning (9 am) or late afternoon (4.30 pm). This inverse-U shape relationship is consistent with the idea that cognitive functioning is time varying and important for per- formance. A back-of-the-envelope calculation applied to an external context that is likely to benefit from our findings (i.e., college admission tests), suggests that a simple rescheduling can increase students’ permanent income.

Local Organizer: Margherita Fort, Annalisa Loviglio, Alessandro Sforza