IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7595.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Lundberg, Shelly

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract

Research and policy discussion about the diverging fortunes of children from advantaged and disadvantaged households have focused on the skill disparities between these children – how they might arise and how they might be remediated. Analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health reveals another important mechanism in the determinants of educational attainment – differential returns to skills for children in different circumstances. Though the returns to cognitive ability are generally consistent across family background groups, personality traits have very different effects on educational attainment for young men and women with access to different levels of parental resources. These results are consistent with a model in which the provision of focused effort in school is complementary with parental inputs while openness, associated with imagination and exploration, is a substitute for information provision by educated parents and thus contributes to resilience in low-resource environments. In designing interventions to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children, we need to be cognizant of interactions between a child's skills and their circumstances.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundberg, Shelly, 2013. "Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 7595, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7595
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp7595.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emilia Del Bono & John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2012. "Intrafamily Resource Allocations: A Dynamic Structural Model of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 657-706.
    2. Del Bono, Emilia & Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2008. "Intrafamily resource allocations: a dynamic model of birth weight," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-27, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "The stability of big-five personality traits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 11-15.
    5. Montizaan, Raymond M. & Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2014. "Misery Loves Company: Exogenous shocks in retirement expectations and social comparison effects on subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-26.
    6. Alita Nandi & Cheti Nicoletti, 2014. "Explaining personality pay gaps in the UK," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(26), pages 3131-3150, September.
    7. Jason Long & Joseph Ferrie, 2013. "Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Great Britain and the United States since 1850," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1109-1137, June.
    8. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    9. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    10. Scott Carrell & Bruce Sacerdote, 2017. "Why Do College-Going Interventions Work?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 124-151, July.
    11. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    12. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
    13. Anke Becker & Thomas Deckers & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2012. "The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 453-478, July.
    14. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2020. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1065-1147.
    15. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
    16. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, And Synapses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 289-324, July.
    17. Shelly Lundberg, 2012. "Personality and marital surplus," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
    18. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2012. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Dropout Decision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 707-748.
    19. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    20. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-128, January.
    21. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    22. Jason Long & Joseph Ferrie, 2013. "Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Great Britain and the United States since 1850: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 2041-2049, August.
    23. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 446-493.
    24. Cawley, John & Heckman, James & Vytlacil, Edward, 2001. "Three observations on wages and measured cognitive ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 419-442, September.
    25. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 16, pages 1487-1541, Elsevier.
    26. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-181, Elsevier.
    27. Peter Gottschalk & Sheldon Danziger, 2005. "Inequality Of Wage Rates, Earnings And Family Income In The United States, 1975–2002," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 231-254, June.
    28. Corak, Miles & Curtis, Lori & Phipps, Shelley, 2010. "Economic Mobility, Family Background, and the Well-Being of Children in the United States and Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 4814, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    29. Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "The College Type: Personality and Educational Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 421-441.
    30. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    31. Rustichini, Aldo & DeYoung, Colin G. & Anderson, Jon E. & Burks, Stephen V., 2012. "Toward the Integration of Personality Theory and Decision Theory in the Explanation of Economic and Health Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 6750, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    32. Jule Specht & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2011. "Stability and Change of Personality across the Life Course: The Impact of Age and Major Life Events on Mean-Level and Rank-Order Stability of the Big Five," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 377, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Brenzel, Hanna & Laible, Marie-Christine, 2016. "Does personality matter? : the impact of the big five on the migrant and gender wage gaps," IAB-Discussion Paper 201626, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "The College Type: Personality and Educational Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 421-441.
    2. Gensowski, Miriam & Gørtz, Mette & Schurer, Stefanie, 2021. "Inequality in personality over the life cycle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 46-77.
    3. Lundberg, Shelly, 2014. "Skill Disparities and Unequal Family Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8346, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Kautz, Tim & Heckman, James J. & Diris, Ron & ter Weel, Bas & Borghans, Lex, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," IZA Discussion Papers 8696, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Shelly Lundberg, 2017. "Noncognitive Skills as Human Capital," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth, pages 219-243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. James J. Heckman & Stefano Mosso, 2014. "The Economics of Human Development and Social Mobility," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 689-733, August.
    7. Esteban García-Miralles & Miriam Gensowski, 2020. "Are Children's Socio-Emotional Skills Shaped by Parental Health Shocks?," CEBI working paper series 20-21, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    8. Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2015. "Locus of control and the labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    9. James Heckman & Tim Kautz, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," Working Papers 2013-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    10. Hille, Adrian & Schupp, Jürgen, 2015. "How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of Skills," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 56-82.
    11. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.
    12. Schnitzlein, Daniel D. & Stephani, Jens, 2016. "Locus of Control and low-wage mobility," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-177.
    13. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2015. "Does Investors' Personality Influence their Portfolios?," Working Papers 03/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    14. Leonora Risse & Lisa Farrell & Tim R L Fry, 2018. "Personality and pay: do gender gaps in confidence explain gender gaps in wages?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 919-949.
    15. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel & Markus Pannenberg, 2014. "Positional Income Concerns: Prevalence and Relationship with Personality and Economic Preferences," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201411, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    16. Laura Turner & Aloysius Siow & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2014. "Relationship Skills in the Labor and Marriage Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 155, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Ksenia V. Rozhkova & Natalya Yemelina & Sergey Yu. Roshchin, 2021. "Can Non-Cognitive Skills Explain The Gender Wage Gap In Russia? An Unconditional Quantile Regression Approach," HSE Working papers WP BRP 252/EC/2021, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    18. Bühler, Dorothee & Sharma, Rasadhika & Stein, Wiebke, 2020. "Occupational Attainment and Earnings in Southeast Asia: The Role of Non-cognitive Skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    19. Trivitt, Julie & Cheng, Albert, 2016. "When you say nothing at all: The predictive power of student effort on surveysAuthor-Name: Hitt, Collin," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 105-119.
    20. LEE SunYoun & OHTAKE Fumio, 2014. "The Effects of Personality Traits and Behavioral Characteristics on Schooling, Earnings, and Career Promotion," Discussion papers 14023, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; inequality; noncognitive skills;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7595. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.