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Long-Term Orientation and Educational Performance


  • Figlio, David N.

    () (Northwestern University)

  • Giuliano, Paola

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Özek, Umut

    () (American Institutes for Research)

  • Sapienza, Paola

    () (Northwestern University)


We use remarkable population-level administrative education and birth records from Florida to study the role of Long-Term Orientation on the educational attainment of immigrant students living in the US. Controlling for the quality of schools and individual characteristics, students from countries with long term oriented attitudes perform better than students from cultures that do not emphasize the importance of delayed gratification. These students perform better in third grade reading and math tests, have larger test score gains over time, have fewer absences and disciplinary incidents, are less likely to repeat grades, and are more likely to graduate from high school in four years. Also, they are more likely to enroll in advanced high school courses, especially in scientific subjects. Parents from long term oriented cultures are more likely to secure better educational opportunities for their children. A larger fraction of immigrants speaking the same language in the school amplifies the effect of Long-Term Orientation on educational performance. We validate these results using a sample of immigrant students living in 37 different countries.

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  • Figlio, David N. & Giuliano, Paola & Özek, Umut & Sapienza, Paola, 2016. "Long-Term Orientation and Educational Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 10147, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10147

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Jens Ruhose & Ludger Woessmann, 2017. "Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for US States," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 184-224, October.
    2. M. Keith Chen, 2013. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 690-731, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campo, Francesco & Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2020. "Talking Business: New Evidence on How Language Shapes Economic Behaviour," IZA Discussion Papers 13897, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Frattini, Tommaso & Meschi, Elena, 2019. "The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-22.
    3. Eric A. Hanushek & Lavinia Kinne & Philipp Lergetporer & Ludger Wößmann, 2020. "Der Einfluss von Geduld und Risikobereitschaft auf internationale Unterschiede in schulischen Leistungen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(10), pages 33-36, October.
    4. Hull, Marie & Norris, Jonathan, 2020. "The skill development of children of immigrants," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    5. Dang, Huong & Partington, Graham, 2020. "Sovereign ratings and national culture," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    6. Oasis Kodila‐Tedika & Sherif Khalifa, 2020. "Long‐term vision and economic development," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(11), pages 3088-3102, November.
    7. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Connelly, Luke & Le, Huong Thu & Mitrou, Francis & Taylor, Catherine & Zubrick, Stephen, 2018. "Explaining the evolution of ethnicity differentials in academic achievements: The role of time investments," MPRA Paper 90534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Goodell, John W., 2019. "Comparing normative institutionalism with intended rationality in cultural-finance research," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 124-134.
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    12. Gordon, Elizabeth A. & Gotti, Giorgio & Ho, Joanna H. & Mora, Araceli & Morris, Richard D., 2019. "Commentary: Where is International Accounting Research Going? Issues Needing Further Investigation," Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
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    More about this item


    long-term orientation; education; cultural transmission;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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