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Schooling and Self-Control

SOEPpapers 1206, 16 S.

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, Sarah C. Dahmann, Daniel A. Kamhöfer, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch


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While there is an established positive relationship between self-control and education, the direction of causality remains a matter of debate. We make a contribution to resolving this issue by exploiting a series of Australian and German educational reforms that increased minimum education requirements as a source of exogenous variation in education levels. Instrumental variables estimates suggest that, for people affected by the reforms, an additional year of schooling has no effect on self-control.

JEL-Classification: D90;I26;C26
Keywords: self-control; quasi-experiments; compulsory schooling reforms; Brief Self-Control Scale