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

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  • Barón, Juan D.

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4907.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4907

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Keywords: locus of control; parental socio-economic background; education;

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References

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  1. Buly A Cardak & Chris Ryan, 2006. "Why are high ability individuals from poor backgrounds under-represented at university?," Working Papers 2006.04, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  2. Borghans Lex & Meijers Huub & Weel Bas ter, 2006. "The Role of Noncognitive Skills in Explaining Cognitive Test Scores," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  3. 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).
  4. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Participation in Higher Education: Equity and Access?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(253), pages 152-165, 06.
  5. Inhoe Ku & Robert Plotnick, 2003. "Do children from welfare families obtain less education?," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 151-170, February.
  6. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. 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.
  8. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2011. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Alison L. Booth & Pamela Katic, 2013. "Cognitive Skills, Gender and Risk Preferences," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(284), pages 19-30, 03.
  5. Gabriella Conti & Sylvia Fruhwirth-Schnatter & James Heckman & Rémi Piatek, 2014. "Bayesian exploratory factor analysis," CeMMAP working papers CWP30/14, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  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. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2011. "Search, Effort, and Locus of Control," IZA Discussion Papers 5948, 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).

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