IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecj/econjl/vy2013ipf358-f400.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control

Author

Listed:
  • Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark
  • Stefanie Schurer

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.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2013. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 358-400, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f358-f400
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barón, Juan D. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2010. "Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control?," IZA Discussion Papers 4907, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Andrew M. Jones & Stefanie Schurer, 2011. "How does heterogeneity shape the socioeconomic gradient in health satisfaction?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 549-579, June.
    4. Marco Caliendo & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Arne Uhlendorff, 2015. "Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 88-103, March.
    5. Ngina Chiteji, 2010. "Time Preference, Noncognitive Skills and Well Being across the Life Course: Do Noncognitive Skills Encourage Healthy Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 200-204, May.
    6. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
    7. Heineck, Guido & Anger, Silke, 2010. "The returns to cognitive abilities and personality traits in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 535-546, June.
    8. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    9. 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.
    10. 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).
    11. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-181, Elsevier.
    12. 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 815-829, October.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Kuhn, Peter J. & Weinberger, Catherine, 2002. "Leadership Skills and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 482, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Boyce, Christopher J., 2010. "Understanding fixed effects in human well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-16, February.
    18. 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, June.
    19. Paul Frijters & John Haisken-DeNew & Michael Shields, 2005. "Socio-Economic Status, Health Shocks, Life Satisfaction and Mortality: Evidence from an Increasing Mixed Proportional Hazard Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 496, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    20. 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.
    21. Paul J. Andrisani, 1977. "Internal-External Attitudes, Personal Initiative, and the Labor Market Experience of Black and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(3), pages 308-328.
    22. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    23. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cobb-Clark, Deborah & Schurer, Stefanie, 2011. "Two economists’ musings on the stability of locus of control," Working Paper Series 1619, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2015. "Locus of control and the labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Szabó-Morvai Ágnes & Hubert János Kiss, 2020. "Locus of control and Human Capital Investment Decisions: The Role of Effort, Parental Preferences and Financial Constraints," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2055, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    4. Eva M. Berger & Luke Haywood, 2016. "Locus of Control and Mothers’ Return to Employment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 442-481.
    5. Kesavayuth, Dusanee & Ko, Kaung Myat & Zikos, Vasileios, 2018. "Locus of control and financial risk attitudes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 122-131.
    6. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-28.
    7. Rémi Piatek & Pia Pinger, 2016. "Maintaining (Locus of) Control? Data Combination for the Identification and Inference of Factor Structure Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 734-755, June.
    8. Antoine Marsaudon, 2019. "Do Health Shocks Modify Personality Traits? Evidence from Locus Of Control," PSE Working Papers halshs-01976868, HAL.
    9. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2016. "Search, effort, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 89-101.
    10. Alita Nandi & Cheti Nicoletti, 2014. "Explaining personality pay gaps in the UK," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(26), pages 3131-3150, September.
    11. Nils Braakmann, 2009. "The Role of Psychological Traits for the Gender Gap in Full-Time Employment and Wages: Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 162, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Pinger, Pia & Schäfer, Sebastian & Schumacher, Heiner, 2018. "Locus of control and consistent investment choices," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 66-75.
    13. Rosemary Elkins & Stefanie Schurer, 2020. "Exploring the role of parental engagement in non-cognitive skill development over the lifecourse," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 957-1004, July.
    14. Xue, Sen & Kidd, Michael P. & Le, Anh T. & Kirk, Kathy & Martin, Nicholas G., 2019. "The Role of Locus of Control in Education, Occupation, Income and Healthy Habits: Evidence from Australian Twins," GLO Discussion Paper Series 371, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    15. Santi Budria & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2012. "Income Comparisons and Non-cognitive Skills," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 441, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    16. Pons Rotger, Gabriel & Rosholm, Michael, 2020. "The Role of Beliefs in Long Sickness Absence: Experimental Evidence from a Psychological Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 13582, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Heineck, Guido & Anger, Silke, 2010. "The returns to cognitive abilities and personality traits in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 535-546, June.
    18. Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2014. "The effect of personality traits on subject choice and performance in high school: Evidence from an English cohort," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 47-65.
    19. Shoji, Masahiro, 2020. "Early-Life Circumstances and Adult Locus of Control: Evidence from 46 Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 99987, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f358-f400. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.