IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/371.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Locus of Control in Education, Occupation, Income and Healthy Habits: Evidence from Australian Twins

Author

Listed:
  • Xue, Sen
  • Kidd, Michael P.
  • Le, Anh T.
  • Kirk, Kathy
  • Martin, Nicholas G.

Abstract

The role of non-cognitive skills in socio-economic behavior is a burgeoning research area in economics. Much interest is focused on the personality trait, locus of control, a measure of the extent to which individuals believe their fate is self-determined. The existing empirical literature generally estimates the role of locus of control via OLS. The legitimacy of the approach relies upon stability of locus of control as well as the correct specification of the model, i.e. no omitted variable bias. Recent evidence is supportive of treating locus of control as predetermined, particularly for working age individuals. However, the behavioural genetics consensus is that personality traits including locus of control have a significant heritability component. This suggests the potential for omitted variable problems associated with the prior literature’s attempt to identify the impact of locus of control using cross-sectional methods. We address the issue of omitted shared family background and genetic factors using data on both monozygotic and dizygotic twins to examine the role of locus of control. Comparison of results across OLS and twins fixed effect estimators is consistent with substantial upward bias in previous estimates of the locus of the control due to omitted variable problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Xue, Sen & Kidd, Michael P. & Le, Anh T. & Kirk, Kathy & Martin, Nicholas G., 2019. "The Role of Locus of Control in Education, Occupation, Income and Healthy Habits: Evidence from Australian Twins," GLO Discussion Paper Series 371, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:371
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/200962/1/GLO-DP-0371.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2016. "Search, effort, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 89-101.
    2. Sandewall, Örjan & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus, 2014. "The co-twin methodology and returns to schooling — testing a critical assumption," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 1-10.
    3. Schurer, Stefanie, 2017. "Bouncing back from health shocks: Locus of control and labor supply," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Neumark, David, 1999. "Biases in twin estimates of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-148, April.
    5. Marco Caliendo & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Arne Uhlendorff, 2015. "Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 88-103, March.
    6. Schnitzlein, Daniel D. & Stephani, Jens, 2016. "Locus of Control and low-wage mobility," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-177.
    7. Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink & Nick Martin, 2014. "Sexual Orientation, Prejudice, and Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 123-159.
    8. Jonathan P. Beauchamp & David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Matthijs J. H. M. van der Loos & Philipp D. Koellinger & Patrick J. F. Groenen & James H. Fowler & J. Niels Rosenquist & A. Roy Thurik & N, 2011. "Molecular Genetics and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 57-82, Fall.
    9. Margo Coleman & Thomas DeLeire, 2003. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    10. Rémi Piatek & Pia Pinger, 2016. "Maintaining (Locus of) Control? Data Combination for the Identification and Inference of Factor Structure Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 734-755, June.
    11. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
    12. Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Nele Warrinnier & Francesca Cornaglia, 2018. "Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 298-329.
    13. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Sinning, Mathias G., 2016. "Locus of control and savings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 113-130.
    14. Hansemark, Ove C., 2003. "Need for achievement, locus of control and the prediction of business start-ups: A longitudinal study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-319, June.
    15. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
    16. Webbink, Dinand & Martin, Nicholas G. & Visscher, Peter M., 2008. "Does teenage childbearing increase smoking, drinking and body size?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 888-903, July.
    17. 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.
    18. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 2001. "Genetic and environmental contributions to educational attainment in Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 211-224, June.
    19. Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
    20. 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.
    21. Fletcher, Jason M., 2013. "The effects of personality traits on adult labor market outcomes: Evidence from siblings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 122-135.
    22. Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2013. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 358-400, August.
    23. Paul J. Andrisani, 1977. "Internal-External Attitudes, Personal Initiative, and the Labor Market Experience of Black and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(3), pages 308-328.
    24. Eva M. Berger & Luke Haywood, 2016. "Locus of Control and Mothers’ Return to Employment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 442-481.
    25. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    26. repec:fth:prinin:304 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
    28. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-28.
    29. Hongbin Li & PakWai Liu & Junsen Zhang & Ning Ma, 2007. "Economic Returns to Communist Party Membership: Evidence From Urban Chinese Twins," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1504-1520, October.
    30. Orley Ashenfelter & Alan Krueger, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," Working Papers 683, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    31. Miller, Paul W & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 1995. "What Do Twins Studies Reveal about the Economic Returns to Education? A Comparison of Australian and U.S. Findings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 586-599, June.
    32. Abay, Kibrom A. & Blalock, Garrick & Berhane, Guush, 2017. "Locus of control and technology adoption in developing country agriculture: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 98-115.
    33. Heineck, Guido & Anger, Silke, 2010. "The returns to cognitive abilities and personality traits in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 535-546, June.
    34. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284.
    35. Dinand Webbink & Nicholas Martin & Peter Visscher, 2011. "Does teenage childbearing reduce investment in human capital?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 701-730, April.
    36. Gensowski, Miriam, 2018. "Personality, IQ, and lifetime earnings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 170-183.
    37. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
    38. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-1173, December.
    39. Andrew D. McGee, 2015. "How the Perception of Control Influences Unemployed Job Search," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(1), pages 184-211, January.
    40. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male and Female Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
    41. Miriam A Mosing & Nancy L Pedersen & David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Patrik K E Magnusson & Jeanne Nakamura & Guy Madison & Fredrik Ullén, 2012. "Genetic and Environmental Influences on the Relationship between Flow Proneness, Locus of Control and Behavioral Inhibition," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 7(11), pages 1-8, November.
    42. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Locus of control; twin studies; socioeconomic outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    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:zbw:glodps:371. 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: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/glaboea.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 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.

    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.