Discussion paper

DP11536 Long-Term Orientation and Educational Performance

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.


Giuliano, P, D Figlio, U Ozek and P Sapienza (2016), ‘DP11536 Long-Term Orientation and Educational Performance‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11536. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp11536