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Detecting Drivers of Behavior at an Early Age: Evidence from a Longitudinal Field Experiment

Author

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  • Marco Castillo
  • John List
  • Ragan Petrie
  • Anya Samek

Abstract

We use field experiments with nearly 900 children to investigate how skills developed at ages 3-5 drive later-life outcomes. We find that skills map onto three distinct factors - cognitive skills, executive functions, and economic preferences. Returning to the children up to 7 years later, we find that executive functions, but not cognitive skills, predict the likelihood of receiving disciplinary referrals. Economic preferences have an independent effect: children who displayed impatience at ages 3-5 were more likely to receive disciplinary referrals. Random assignment to a parenting program reduced disciplinary referrals. This effect was not mediated by skills or preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Castillo & John List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2021. "Detecting Drivers of Behavior at an Early Age: Evidence from a Longitudinal Field Experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00723, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00723
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education

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