Impatience And Academic Performance. Less Effort And Less Ambitious Goals
In a simple theoretical model we show that impatience affects academic performance through two different channels: impatient students spend less effort in studying activities and set less ambitious objectives in terms of grades at exams. As a consequence, the relationship between impatience and academic success may vary according to how performance is measured. Using data from a sample of Italian undergraduate students, we find a strong negative relationship between impatience and both the average grade at exams and the probability of graduating with honours. Conversely, a negative but not statistically significant correlation emerges between time preferences and both the number of credits earned in the three years following enrolment and the probability of timely graduation. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of impatience and controlling for family background characteristics, for cognitive abilities and for risk preferences.
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