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The relative economic importance of academic, psychological and behavioural attributes developed on childhood

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  • Feinstein, Leon

Abstract

This paper makes use of the substantial information about the psychological and behavioural development of children by age ten in the 1970 Cohort to predict later, economic outcomes, namely qualifications, employment and earnings. It is found that this previously unobserved individual heterogeneity has very substantial implications for the labour market. The returns to education are not significantly reduced by this omission bias but there is evidence of substantial returns to the production of non-academic ability. The paper also finds that different age ten abilities and attributes have implications for different adult outcomes so that human capital production should not be considered by economists as a simple one-dimensional process. Age ten conduct disorder predicts male adult unemployment particularly well but it is self-esteem that predicts male earnings. For women the locus of control variable is particularly important. Finally, whereas age ten maths ability is a good predictor of subsequent educational development for children from high SES families, reading is the stronger predictor for children from low SES groups. The implications of these results for education are developed. Parental attitudes are much more important than raw indices of social class for the explanation of the age ten scores. Schooling curriculum may be important.

Suggested Citation

  • Feinstein, Leon, 2000. "The relative economic importance of academic, psychological and behavioural attributes developed on childhood," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20206
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20206/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Reassessing the view that American schools are broken," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 4(Mar), pages 29-43.
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    3. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
    4. repec:fth:prinin:395 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Proceedings from a workshop organised by HM Treasury and CASE, 1999. "Persistent Poverty and Lifetime Inequality: The evidence," CASE Reports casereport05, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; wages; unemployment; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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