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The College Type: Personality and Educational Inequality

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  • Lundberg, Shelly

    ()
    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract

I examine the effects of cognitive ability and personality traits on college graduation in a recent cohort of young Americans, and how the returns to these traits vary by family background, and find very substantial differences across family background groups in the personality traits that predict successful completion of college, particularly for men. The implications are two-fold. First, the returns to noncognitive traits may be highly context-dependent. Second, policy discussion concerning educational inequality should include, not just the possibilities for remediating the skill levels of poor children, but also approaches to changing the environments that limit their opportunities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7305.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7305

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Keywords: education; personality; inequality;

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  1. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," NBER Working Papers 13670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Shelly Lundberg, 2010. "Personality and Marital Surplus," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 307, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Jessica Pan, 2013. "The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 32-64, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-28, January.
  9. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-22 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Lundberg, Shelly, 2013. "Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 7595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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