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Health Effects on Children's Willingness to Compete

  • Bartling, Björn

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

  • Fehr, Ernst

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

  • Schunk, Daniel

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

The formation of human capital is important for a society’s welfare and economic success. Recent literature shows that child health can provide an important explanation for disparities in children's human capital development across different socio-economic groups. While this literature focuses on cognitive skills as determinants of human capital, it neglects non-cognitive skills. We analyze data from economic experiments with preschoolers and their mothers to investigate whether child health can explain developmental gaps in children's non-cognitive skills. Our measure for children's non-cognitive skills is their willingness to compete with others. Our findings suggest that health problems are negatively related to children's willingness to compete and that the effect of health on competitiveness differs with socio-economic background. Health has a strongly negative effect in our sub-sample with low socioeconomic background, whereas there is no effect in our sub-sample with high socio-economic background.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5740.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published online in: Experimental Economics, 2011, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5740
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  1. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
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  9. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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  11. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," IZA Discussion Papers 4001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. Alison Aughinbaugh & Maury Gittleman, 2003. "Does Money Matter?: A Comparison of the Effect of Income on Child Development in the United States and Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  14. Christian Dustmann & Najma Rajah & Arthur van Soest, 2003. "Class Size, Education, and Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F99-F120, February.
  15. Bettinger, Eric & Slonim, Robert, 2007. "Patience among children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 343-363, February.
  16. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
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