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Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control?

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  • Juan D. Barón

    ()

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark

    ()

Abstract

This paper analyzes the link between young people's sense (locus) of control over their lives and their investments in education. We find that young people with a more internal locus of control have a higher probability of finishing secondary school and, conditional on completion, meeting the requirements to obtain a university entrance rank. Moreover, those with an internal locus of control who obtain a university entrance rank achieve somewhat higher rankings than do their peers who have a more external locus of control. Not surprisingly, there is a negative relationship between growing up in disadvantage and educational outcomes. However, this effect does not appear to operate indirectly by increasing the likelihood of having a more external locus of control. In particular, we find no significant relationship between family welfare history and young people's locus of control.

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Paper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 599.

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Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:599

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Keywords: Locus of control; parental socio-economic background; education. Classification JEL: I38; J24; H31.;

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References

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  1. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Participation in Higher Education: Equity and Access?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(253), pages 152-165, 06.
  2. Meijers, Huub & Borghans, Lex & Weel, Bas ter, 2006. "The Role of Noncognitive Skills in Explaining Cognitive Test Scores," MERIT Working Papers 044, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lindsey Jeanne Leininger & Ariel Kalil, 2008. "Cognitive and non-cognitive predictors of success in adult education programs: Evidence from experimental data with low-income welfare recipients," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 521-535.
  6. Inhoe Ku & Robert Plotnick, 2003. "Do children from welfare families obtain less education?," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 151-170, February.
  7. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  8. repec:ltr:wpaper:2006.04 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Holmlund, Helena & Silva, Olmo, 2009. "Targeting Non-Cognitive Skills to Improve Cognitive Outcomes: Evidence from a Remedial Education Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 4476, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  11. Margo Coleman & Thomas DeLeire, 2003. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  12. Buly A Cardak & Chris Ryan, 2006. "Why are high ability individuals from poor backgrounds under-represented at university?," Working Papers, School of Economics, La Trobe University 2006.04, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  13. Peter Gottschalk, 2005. "Can work alter welfare recipients' beliefs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 485-498.
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Cited by:
  1. Gabriella Conti & Sylvia Fruehwirth-Schnatter & James J. Heckman & Remi Piatek, 2014. "Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis," Working Papers, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics 2014-014, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  2. Conti, Gabriella & Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia & Heckman, James J. & Piatek, Rémi, 2014. "Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 8338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2013. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages F358-F400, 08.
  4. Booth, Alison L. & Katic, Pamela, 2012. "Cognitive Skills, Gender and Risk Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 6997, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2011. "Search, Effort, and Locus of Control," IZA Discussion Papers 5948, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2014. "The Effect of Personality Traits on Subject Choice and Performance in High School: Evidence from an English Cohort," IZA Discussion Papers 8269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Autiero, Giuseppina & O'Higgins, Niall, 2013. "Jailer of Freedom and Enemy of Growth? The Role of Personal and Social Identities in Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 7792, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Daniel D. Schnitzlein & Jens Stephani, 2013. "Locus of Control and Low-Wage Mobility," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 589, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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