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In praise of ambidexterity : how a continuum of handedness predicts social adjustment

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  • Kevin Denny
  • Wen Zhang

Abstract

This paper estimates the relationship between handedness and social adjustment. In addition to binary measures of hand preference, we also use a continuous measure of hand skill. Outcomes at ages 7, 11 and 16 are studied. Using a semi-parametric estimator it is shown that non-righthandedness (as hand-preference) is associated with poorer social adjustment but this effect disappears as the individuals age. The continuous measure of hand skill has a non-monotonic effect on social adjustment with poorer social adjustment at the extreme values of the continuum. Poorer social adjustment in childhood has been shown to predict poorer socio-economic outcomes later in life.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Denny & Wen Zhang, 2010. "In praise of ambidexterity : how a continuum of handedness predicts social adjustment," Working Papers 201004, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201004
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2634
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Frijters & David W. Johnston & Manisha Shah & Michael A. Shields, 2009. "To Work or Not to Work? Child Development and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 97-110, July.
    2. Johnston, David W. & Shah, Manisha & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Handedness, Time Use and Early Childhood Development," IZA Discussion Papers 2752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Kevin Denny, 2008. "Cognitive ability and continuous measures of relative hand-skill. a note," Working Papers 200805, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
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    Keywords

    Left- and right-handedness--Psychological aspects; Social adjustment; Social status;

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