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Health Effects on Children's Willingness to Compete

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  • Björn Bartling

    (University of Zurich, Department of Economics)

  • Ernst Fehr

    ()
    (University of Zurich, Department of Economics)

  • Daniel Schunk

    (University of Zurich and University of Mainz, Department of Economics)

Abstract

The formation of human capital is important for a society's welfare and economic success. Recent literature shows that child health can provide an important explanation for disparities in children's human capital development across different socio-economic groups. While this literature focuses on cognitive skills as determinants of human capital, it neglects non-cognitive skills. We analyze data from economic experiments with preschoolers and their mothers to investigate whether child health can explain developmental gaps in children’s non-cognitive skills. Our measure for children's noncognitive skills is their willingness to compete with others. Our findings suggest that health problems are negatively related to children's willingness to compete and that the effect of health on competitiveness differs with socio-economic background. Health has a strongly negative effect in our sub-sample with low socioeconomic background, whereas there is no effect in our sub-sample with high socio-economic background.

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File Function: First version, May 15, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2011-014.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: Forthcoming in Experimental Economics
Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2011-014

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Keywords: willingness to compete; non-cognitive skills; human capital; health; household survey studies;

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References

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  1. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile & Phongsack Manivong & Leslie L. Roos, 2008. "Child Health and Young Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 14482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2620, CESifo Group Munich.
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  6. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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  11. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," IZA Discussion Papers 4001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. Bettinger, Eric & Slonim, Robert, 2007. "Patience among children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 343-363, February.
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  15. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  16. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
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Cited by:
  1. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
  2. Jeannette Brosig-Koch & Timo Heinrich & Christoph Helbach, 2012. "Exploring the Capability to Backward Induct – An Experimental Study with Children and Young Adults," Ruhr Economic Papers 0360, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman & Cathleen Johnson & Angela Oliveira & Christian Rojas & Rick Wilson, 2012. "School environment and risk preferences: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 265-292, December.

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