Personality traits, forgone health care and high school dropout : evidence from US adolescents

Migali, Giuseppe and Zucchelli, Eugenio (2017) Personality traits, forgone health care and high school dropout : evidence from US adolescents. Journal of Economic Psychology, 62. pp. 98-119. ISSN 0167-4870

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There is sparse evidence on the effects of personality traits on high school dropout, especially on whether combinations of different traits may uniquely influence dropout decisions. We employ single and multiple treatment matching together with rich data on US adolescents to explore the relationship between personality traits and their combinations on school attrition. Using the Big Five inventory, we find that introversion, and to a lesser extent neuroticism, are individually associated with higher probabilities of dropping out from school. Multiple treatment estimates show that blends of low levels of conscientiousness and neuroticism present higher likelihoods of an early exit. Furthermore, we exploit information on forgone health care and explore its role as a predictor of dropout, potentially proxying relevant traits associated with psychological maturity of judgement such as responsibility, perspective and temperance. These traits refer to the capacity of assessing the long-term consequences of actions and may influence an individual’s decision-making process, including dropout choices. Forgone health care appears to be a statistically significant predictor of dropout throughout our models. Individuals who forgo their health care and present low conscientiousness and introversion have the highest risk of dropout. Overall, our results are robust to alternative specifications and increasing levels of selection on unobservables. We suggest that given its predictive power, forgone health care could be used as a signalling device to help identifying individuals at higher risk of school dropout.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Economic Psychology
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Psychology, 62, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2017.06.007
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? personality traitsforgone health carehigh school dropoutmultiple treatment matchingeconomics and econometricsapplied psychologysociology and political sciencec21, d03, i12, i21 ??
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Deposited On:
26 Jun 2017 09:36
Last Modified:
26 Jan 2024 01:20