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Educational expectations of UK teenagers and the role of socio-economic status and economic preferences

Silvan Has (), Jake Anders, John Jerrim () and Nikki Shure
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Silvan Has: UCL Social Research Institute
John Jerrim: UCL Social Research Institute

No 21-11, CEPEO Working Paper Series from UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities

Abstract: Young people's decision making process to go to university might depend on both family background and character traits. In this study, we research the association between long-term socio-economic status (SES) during adolescence, economic preferences such as risk attitudes and time preferences, and teenagers' expectations of going to university. Using data on British teenagers from the Millennium Cohort Study we find that higher SES is associated with higher educational expectations. Furthermore, more patient teenagers think it more likely for them to go to university. However, risk attitudes are not associated with educational expectations. All results are robust to including rich sets of background variables including cognitive measures and school grades. This implies that for the British education system to become more meritocratic and to improve intergenerational mobility, future policies should target the SES gap in educational expectations. Furthermore, improving patience in young people could be a channel through which educational policy helps improve university attendance.

Keywords: Human capital formation; Educational investment; Risk preferences; Time preferences; Socio-economic status. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 55 pages
Date: 2021-12, Revised 2021-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-ltv
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