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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. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
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  14. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2004. "Is the Child Health / Family Income Gradient Universal? Evidence from England," IZA Discussion Papers 1328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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