Locus of Control and Its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation

By: Warn N. Lekfuangfu (Chulalongkorn University and CEP, London School of Economics) ; Nattavudh Powdthavee (CEP, London School of Economics) ; Nele Warrinnier (CEP, London School of Economics and University of Leuven) ; Francesca Cornaglia(Queen Mary University of London and CEP, London School of Economics)
This paper builds upon Cunha’s (2015) subjective rationality model in which parents have a subjective belief about the impact of their investment on the early skill formation of their children. We propose that this subjective belief is determined in part by locus of control (LOC), i.e., the extent to which individuals believe that their actions can influence future outcomes. Consistent with the theory, we show that maternal LOC measured at the 12th week of gestation strongly predicts maternal attitudes towards parenting style, maternal time investments, as well as early and late cognitive outcomes. We also utilize the variation in inputs and outputs by maternal LOC to help improve the specification typically used in the estimation of skill production function parameters.
Keywords: Locus of control, Parental investment, Human capital accumulation, Early skill formation, ALSPAC
JEL: J01 I31

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: