NBER

Lavinia Kinne

ifo Center for the Economics of Education
Poschingerstr. 5
81679 Munich
Germany

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: ifo Institute

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020Culture and Student Achievement: The Intertwined Roles of Patience and Risk-Taking
with Eric A. Hanushek, Philipp Lergetporer, Ludger Woessmann: w27484
Patience and risk-taking – two cultural traits that steer intertemporal decision-making – are fundamental to human capital investment decisions. To understand how they contribute to international differences in student achievement, we combine PISA tests with the Global Preference Survey. We find that opposing effects of patience (positive) and risk-taking (negative) together account for two-thirds of the cross-country variation in student achievement. In an identification strategy addressing unobserved residence-country features, we find similar results when assigning migrant students their country-of-origin cultural traits in models with residence-country fixed effects. Associations of culture with family and school inputs suggest that both may act as channels.

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