DP11536 Long-Term Orientation and Educational Performance

Author(s): David Figlio, Paola Giuliano, Umut Ozek, Paola Sapienza
Publication Date: September 2016
Keyword(s): Cultural Transmission, education, Long-Term Orientation
JEL(s): I20, I24, J15, Z1
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11536

We use remarkable population-level administrative education and birth records from Florida to study the role of Long-Term Orientation on the educational attainment of immigrant students living in the US. Controlling for the quality of schools and individual characteristics, students from countries with long term oriented attitudes perform better than students from cultures that do not emphasize the importance of delayed gratification. These students perform better in third grade reading and math tests, have larger test score gains over time, have fewer absences and disciplinary incidents, are less likely to repeat grades, and are more likely to graduate from high school in four years. Also, they are more likely to enroll in advanced high school courses, especially in scientific subjects. Parents from long term oriented cultures are more likely to secure better educational opportunities for their children. A larger fraction of immigrants speaking the same language in the school amplifies the effect of Long-Term Orientation on educational performance. We validate these results using a sample of immigrant students living in 37 different countries.