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Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to Their Sense of Control?

  • Juan D. Baron

    (Banco de la Republica (Central Bank of Colombia))

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

This paper analyzes the link between young people's sense (locus) of control over their lives and their investments in education. We find that young people with a more internal locus of control have a higher probability of finishing secondary school and, conditional on completion, meeting the requirements to obtain a university entrance rank. Moreover, those with an internal locus of control who obtain a university entrance rank achieve somewhat higher rankings than do their peers who have a more external locus of control. Not surprisingly, there is a negative relationship between growing up in disadvantage and educational outcomes. However, this effect does not appear to operate indirectly by increasing the likelihood of having a more external locus of control. In particular, we find no significant relationship between family welfare history and young people's locus of control.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2010n05.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2010n05
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Inhoe Ku & Robert Plotnick, 2003. "Do children from welfare families obtain less education?," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 151-170, February.
  2. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
  3. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  4. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  5. Holmlund, Helena & Silva, Olmo, 2009. "Targeting Non-Cognitive Skills to Improve Cognitive Outcomes: Evidence from a Remedial Education Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 4476, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Margo Coleman & Thomas DeLeire, 2003. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  7. Lex Borghans & Huub Meijers & Bas Ter Weel, 2008. "The Role Of Noncognitive Skills In Explaining Cognitive Test Scores," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(1), pages 2-12, 01.
  8. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lindsey Jeanne Leininger & Ariel Kalil, 2008. "Cognitive and non-cognitive predictors of success in adult education programs: Evidence from experimental data with low-income welfare recipients," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 521-535.
  10. repec:ltr:wpaper:2006.04 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Participation in Higher Education: Equity and Access?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(253), pages 152-165, 06.
  12. Buly A Cardak & Chris Ryan, 2006. "Why are high ability individuals from poor backgrounds under-represented at university?," Working Papers 2006.04, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  13. Peter Gottschalk, 2005. "Can work alter welfare recipients' beliefs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 485-498.
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