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Jailer of Freedom and Enemy of Growth? The Role of Personal and Social Identities in Educational Choices

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Author Info

  • Autiero, Giuseppina

    ()
    (University of Salerno)

  • O'Higgins, Niall

    ()
    (University of Salerno)

Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical and empirical model on the influence of identity on educational choices which extends the existing literature in several directions. The theoretical model proposed here allows schooling choices to be independently influenced by both personal and social identities and, in contrast to previous work, the proposed empirical counterpart is derived directly from the theoretical model. The use of UK's British Cohort Study on individuals born in 1970 allows us to identify with precision the relevant explanatory factors and to appropriately control for potentially confounding factors. Both social and personal identities are found to have substantial and statistically significant effects on educational participation decisions and these impacts are robust to a variety of specifications. The key implication is that socio-psychological factors play an important role in children's school performance through their direct influence on the utility derived from studying.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7792.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7792

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Keywords: identity; educational choice; locus of control;

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  1. 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).
  2. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  3. 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.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  5. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  6. Juan D. Barón & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control?," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 006978, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  7. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
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