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Handedness and Child Development

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Author Info

  • Paul Gregg
  • Katharina Janke
  • Carol Propper

    ()

Abstract

Left-handedness is historically associated with poorer outcomes for adults. Yet recent work has suggested that there may be positive labour market returns for left-handed males. This paper examines whether handedness is also associated with poorer outcomes for children and whether this differs by genders. The paper examines a wide set of outcomes for children as they age from 42 months to 14 years. We find the main penalty is not from being left-handed, but is from not having a dominant hand early in life. This penalty is larger for girls than boys by age 14, indicating that early deficits of non-right handed boys appear to fall as they age. For girls, being left-handed and especially mixed-handed at early ages is associated with persistent cognitive attainment deficits, mainly focused at the lower end of the ability distribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 08/198.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:08/198

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Keywords: Handedness; child outcomes;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Blanden, Jo & Gregg, Paul & Macmillan, Lindsey, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 2554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2006. "The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results," IFS Working Papers W06/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2006. "Explaining Intergenerational Income Persistence: Non-cognitive Skills, Ability and Education," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/146, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Johnston, David W. & Shah, Manisha & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Handedness, Time Use and Early Childhood Development," IZA Discussion Papers 2752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Christopher S. Ruebeck & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Robert Moffitt, 2006. "Handedness and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 12387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Beck A. Taylor & Eric Dearing & Kathleen McCartney, 2004. "Incomes and Outcomes in Early Childhood," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  8. Alison Aughinbaugh & Maury Gittleman, 2003. "Does Money Matter?: A Comparison of the Effect of Income on Child Development in the United States and Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  9. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 2006. "Selective Counteroffers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 385-410, July.
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