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Achievement-related attitudes and the fate of "at-risk" groups in society

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  • O'Connell, Michael
  • Sheikh, Hammad

Abstract

What causes poverty and how does an individual escape it? Factors such as intelligence and social class background are thought to be important. However, a number of economists have argued that an individual's profile of achievement-related attitudes (ARAs) like work-orientation and conscientiousness might play a role in social success and failure. Part of their attraction is that these attitudes are regarded as responsive to nurturing and may be especially significant for those individuals with few formal skills to offer the labour market. The NCDS longitudinal dataset was interrogated to assess whether ARAs predicted an individual's earnings measured almost two decades later. Results indicated that ARAs explain a good deal of variance in earnings, particularly for "at-risk" males. Social policy implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Connell, Michael & Sheikh, Hammad, 2008. "Achievement-related attitudes and the fate of "at-risk" groups in society," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 508-521, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:4:p:508-521
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    Cited by:

    1. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2009. "Entwicklung und Ungleichheit von Fähigkeiten: Anmerkungen aus ökonomischer Sicht," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-025, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2013. "On the Power of Childhood Impressions for Skill Formation: Initial Evidence and Unsettled Questions," IZA Discussion Papers 7217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:spr:eurpop:v:33:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10680-017-9414-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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