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Achievement-related attitudes and the fate of "at-risk" groups in society

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  • O'Connell, Michael
  • Sheikh, Hammad
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    Abstract

    What causes poverty and how does an individual escape it? Factors such as intelligence and social class background are thought to be important. However, a number of economists have argued that an individual's profile of achievement-related attitudes (ARAs) like work-orientation and conscientiousness might play a role in social success and failure. Part of their attraction is that these attitudes are regarded as responsive to nurturing and may be especially significant for those individuals with few formal skills to offer the labour market. The NCDS longitudinal dataset was interrogated to assess whether ARAs predicted an individual's earnings measured almost two decades later. Results indicated that ARAs explain a good deal of variance in earnings, particularly for "at-risk" males. Social policy implications are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 508-521

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:4:p:508-521

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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    1. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey MacMillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0307, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    2. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
    3. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family income and educational attainment : a review of approaches and evidence for Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 333, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Bengt Muthén & David Kaplan & Michael Hollis, 1987. "On structural equation modeling with data that are not missing completely at random," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 431-462, September.
    5. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
    6. John Micklewright, 2002. "Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate," CASE Papers case51, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    7. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    8. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    9. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jo Blanden, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 245-263, Summer.
    11. Roger Klein & Richard H. Spady & Andrew Weiss, 1987. "Factors Affecting the Output and Quit Propensities of Production Workers," NBER Working Papers 2184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
    13. Clive R Belfield & Milagros Nores & Steve Barnett & Lawrence Schweinhart, 2006. "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost–Benefit Analysis Using Data from the Age-40 Followup," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
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    Cited by:
    1. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2013. "On the Power of Childhood Impressions for Skill Formation: Initial Evidence and Unsettled Questions," IZA Discussion Papers 7217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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