NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Victor Ronda

Aarhus University,
Department of Economics and Business Economics
Fuglesangs Alle 4, Office C9
Aarhus, 8210
Denmark

E-Mail: ronda@econ.au.dk
Institutional Affiliation: Aarhus University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2019The Economic Value of Breaking Bad: Misbehavior, Schooling and the Labor Market
with Nicholas W. Papageorge, Yu Zheng: w25602
Prevailing research argues that childhood misbehavior in the classroom is bad for schooling and, presumably, bad for labor market outcomes. In contrast, we argue that some childhood misbehavior represents underlying socio-emotional skills that are valuable in the labor market. We follow work from psychology and categorize observed classroom misbehavior into two underlying latent factors. We then estimate a model of educational attainment and earnings outcomes, allowing the impact of each of the two factors to vary by outcome. We find that one of the factors, labeled in the psychological literature as externalizing behavior (and linked, for example, to aggression), reduces educational attainment yet increases earnings. Unlike most models where socio-emotional skills that increase human capi...
 
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