Departmental Bulletin Paper Determinants of Personality Traits of School-Age Children : Evidence from Japanese Students at Age 12

Hojo, Masakazu

103pp.77 - 97 , 2017-09 , 新潟大学経済学会
It has been widely recognized among economists that non-cognitive ability, such as self-control, self-esteem, and personality traits, has a great power in predicting social and economic success. Using survey data from students at age 12 and their parents living in Japan, this paper explores the determinants of personality traits of school-age children. Personality traits are measured by students’ answers for questions concerning daily and school life, and we constructed five measures of personality traits corresponding to the Big Five: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. We estimated a regression model of personality traits based on the standard regression model of so-called education production function. We found that personality traits can be hardly explained by the variables used in the standard regression model of the education production function, e.g., education level of parents, the number of siblings, household income, and educational expenditures. We also found that the explanatory power of the regression model can be improved by adding variables concerning students’ daily behavior and parents’ attitude to their children as regressors, although this does not imply a strict causal relationship.

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