Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Two economists’ musings on the stability of locus of control

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah
  • Schurer, Stefanie

Abstract

Empirical studies of the role of non-cognitive skills in driving economic behavior often rely heavily on the assumption that these skills are stable over the relevant time frame. We analyze the change in a specific non-cognitive skill, i.e. locus of control, in order to directly assess the validity of this assumption. We find that short- and medium-run changes in locus of control are rather modest on average, are concentrated among the young or very old, do not appear to be related to the demographic, labor market, and health events that individuals experience, and are unlikely to be economically meaningful. Still, there is no evidence that locus of control is truly time-invariant implying that the use of lagged measures results in an errors-in-variables problem that could downward bias the estimated wage return to locus of control by as much as 50 percent. Those researchers wishing to analyze the economic consequences of non-cognitive skills should consider (i) restricting their analysis to the working-age population for whom there is little evidence of systematic change in skill levels and (ii) accounting for error in the skill measures they employ.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/1619
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 1619.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1619

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Alice Fong, Administrator, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (4) 463-5353
Fax: +64 (4) 463-5014
Email:
Web page: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: non-cognitive skills; locus of control; stability; measurement error; endogeneity; life events;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  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. Juan D. Baron & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to Their Sense of Control?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Heckman, James J., 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
  5. Andrew M. Jones & Stefanie Schurer, 2007. "How does heterogeneity shape the socioeconomic gradient in health satisfaction?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 07/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-29, October.
  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, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  8. Caliendo, Marco & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2010. "Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies," IZA Discussion Papers 4750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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).
  10. Borghans, Lex & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," IZA Discussion Papers 3333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Paul J. Andrisani, 1981. "Internal-External Attitudes, Sense of Efficacy, and Labor Market Experience: A Reply to Duncan and Morgan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(4), pages 658-666.
  12. Guido Heineck & Silke Anger, 2008. "The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 124, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  13. Boyce, Christopher J., 2010. "Understanding fixed effects in human well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-16, February.
  14. Frijters, Paul & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Shields, Michael A., 2005. "Socio-Economic Status, Health Shocks, Life Satisfaction and Mortality: Evidence from an Increasing Mixed Proportional Hazard Model," IZA Discussion Papers 1488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  16. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1996. "The psychological impact of unemployment and joblessness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 333-358.
  17. 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.
  18. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
  19. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, 06.
  20. Arie Kapteyn & Jelmer Y. Ypma, 2007. "Measurement Error and Misclassification: A Comparison of Survey and Administrative Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 513-551.
  21. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  22. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1619. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Library Technology Services).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.