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Youth Decision Making Autonomy and Test Performance


  • Nguyen, Bich Diep

    () (University of Basel)


This paper investigates the relationship between youth participation in household decision making and test performance in three countries India, Peru, and Vietnam. Using Young Lives Surveys data, the study constructs autonomy indices using factor analysis and regresses test performance on each of these indices. Contrary to the hypothesis that autonomy may be less beneficial in collectivistic cultures, this study does not find a negative relationship between autonomy and test performance among 19-year-olds in all three countries. Youth unilateral decision making in Peru and joint decision making in Vietnam are associated with higher test performance. Parental unilateral decision making is associated with lower performance in both countries. Autonomy is not significantly related to performance in India. Robustness check suggests that participation in household decisions (buying household utilities, buying livestock, land and house) may be less important for the youths than participation in decisions directly relevant to them.

Suggested Citation

  • Nguyen, Bich Diep, 2019. "Youth Decision Making Autonomy and Test Performance," Working papers 2019/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2019/04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leonardo Bursztyn & Lucas C. Coffman, 2012. "The Schooling Decision: Family Preferences, Intergenerational Conflict, and Moral Hazard in the Brazilian Favelas," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 359-397.
    2. James Berry, 2015. "Child Control in Education Decisions: An Evaluation of Targeted Incentives to Learn in India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(4), pages 1051-1080.
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    More about this item


    adolescent autonomy; household decision making; parent-child relationship; test performance;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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