Document Abstract

Do NEETs need grit? (IZA discussion paper no 8740)

Investigates the relationship between personality traits in adolescence and education and labour market choices. Focuses on the impact of grit (a tendency and ability to sustain interest in long term goals -perseverance), self-esteem and locus of control at age 15-16 on the risk of being Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) at age 18 to 19. Uses data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England and controls for a rich set of adolescent and family characteristics. Finds that personality traits do affect education and employment choices and the size of the effect is notable and is higher than other important variables. Provides evidence on the positive effects of grit on long term life outcomes and on the negative effect of low self-esteem and external locus of control. Suggests that there is a potential for policies that exploit possible changes in personality to promote positive choices and achievements in early adulthood, and discusses interventions that exploit the early malleability of personality to improve long term outcomes.


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Mendolia. Silvia; Walker, Ian
Ref No:
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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