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Essays on the Family Economics and Gender

Duysak, Enes (2020) Essays on the Family Economics and Gender. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This thesis contains three studies that focus on the accumulation of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in childhood and financial behaviors of young adults. Chapter 1 analyzes the effect of off-school time use of children on achievement outcomes using unique data on children age 8-12. The data contain detailed information on children's characteristics, including cognitive and non-cognitive skills and social preferences, as well as parents' and teacher's characteristics. We first show significant gender differences in the way the off-school time is allocated across different activities. Girls allocate 13% more time to domestic chores and 21% less time playing than boys. We then find that an extra one hour spent on domestic chores or playing is associated with a significant reduction in both math and verbal test scores. In Chapter 2, I examine the effects of birth order and sibling sex composition on non-cognitive skills using unique data on elementary and middle school children from Turkey. The data provide a broad set of non-cognitive skill measures. I find that later-born children are less empathetic, less gritty, and less curious than first-born children, while first-born children are less impulsive and over-confident. By contrast, I find no significant birth order effects on risk and time preferences or social preferences, elicited as altruism and cooperativeness. In Chapter 3, I examine the relationship between student borrowing behavior for post-secondary education and a set of individual-specific characteristics, including financial literacy, and cognitive and non-cognitive skills. I find that financial literacy is negatively associated with the probability of taking up a student loan and the fraction of the total educational cost financed through student loans. I also find that a number of non-cognitive skills, such as grit, patience, agreeableness, and emotional stability significantly predict borrowing behaviors, whereas cognitive ability has no predictive power.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Enes Duysak
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2020 12:14
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2020 12:14

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