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Journal article
Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation

February 2018
Paper No' :

Tags: child development; intergenerational transfer; maternal care; parental investment; psychology

This article builds upon Cunha's (2015) subjective rationality model in which parents have a subjective belief about the impact of their investment on their children's early skill formation. We propose that this subjective belief is determined partly 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 and actual time investments. We also utilise maternal LOC to improve the specification typically used to estimate skill production function parameters. © 2016 Royal Economic Society