An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision
We present an economic model of how teenagers’ outlooks—specifically their locus of control—affect their human capital investments. Locus of control measures the extent to which a person believes their actions affect their outcomes. The model allows locus of control to affect teenagers’ assessment of the return to education. The effect of eighth graders’ locus of control on high school completion and college attendance is examined using the National Educational Longitudinal Study. The results indicate that locus of control influences education decisions and suggests that locus of control operates through teenagers’ expectations of the returns to human capital investments.
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