Since the publication of Akerlof & Kranton’s (2000) seminal paper, attention has increasingly been focussed also by economists on the role of identity in shaping individual choice. In this paper we develop a theoretical model of choice which goes beyond that of Akerlof & Kranton by introducing both personal and social identities as factors underlying individual preferences. In this regard it is widely acknowledged that each individual has different social identities depending on the affiliation to macro or micro social groups like family, friends, gender, race, profession, school, town or nation, entailing the sharing of a set of norms, values and beliefs specific to the group (Tajfel, 1982). Thus, generally individuals’ identity and sense of self are bound to the social categories and groups to which they belong. However, identity can be taken as a bidimensional concept embracing also the aspects of personal identity. The latter is defined as a combination of self-esteem, self-concepts and beliefs of self-efficacy and locus of control (Haußer, 1995). In particular, the concept of internal versus external control is related to the extent to which an individual believes that her actions or characteristics influence the final outcome. The latter, in the case of external locus, is deemed to be affected by chance or fate and goes beyond a person’s control (Rotter, 1966). The model is then used as a basis for the empirical estimation of schooling choices in the UK at sixteen and eighteen. The study employs different rounds of the Youth Cohort Study (YCS). The YCS is a series of (overlapping) panel surveys of young people which provides information, inter alia, on their educational (and other choices) over a period of four years (between the ages of 16 and 19). Optimal educational choices in the model depend, inter alia, on both social and personal identities. The optimal choice expressed as a latent variable leads naturally to the derivation of an empirical probit model of educational choices at sixteen and eighteen. The overlapping panel structure of the data facilitates the identification of the different components of choice.

The role of personal and social identities in schooling choices

AUTIERO, Giuseppina;
2012

Abstract

Since the publication of Akerlof & Kranton’s (2000) seminal paper, attention has increasingly been focussed also by economists on the role of identity in shaping individual choice. In this paper we develop a theoretical model of choice which goes beyond that of Akerlof & Kranton by introducing both personal and social identities as factors underlying individual preferences. In this regard it is widely acknowledged that each individual has different social identities depending on the affiliation to macro or micro social groups like family, friends, gender, race, profession, school, town or nation, entailing the sharing of a set of norms, values and beliefs specific to the group (Tajfel, 1982). Thus, generally individuals’ identity and sense of self are bound to the social categories and groups to which they belong. However, identity can be taken as a bidimensional concept embracing also the aspects of personal identity. The latter is defined as a combination of self-esteem, self-concepts and beliefs of self-efficacy and locus of control (Haußer, 1995). In particular, the concept of internal versus external control is related to the extent to which an individual believes that her actions or characteristics influence the final outcome. The latter, in the case of external locus, is deemed to be affected by chance or fate and goes beyond a person’s control (Rotter, 1966). The model is then used as a basis for the empirical estimation of schooling choices in the UK at sixteen and eighteen. The study employs different rounds of the Youth Cohort Study (YCS). The YCS is a series of (overlapping) panel surveys of young people which provides information, inter alia, on their educational (and other choices) over a period of four years (between the ages of 16 and 19). Optimal educational choices in the model depend, inter alia, on both social and personal identities. The optimal choice expressed as a latent variable leads naturally to the derivation of an empirical probit model of educational choices at sixteen and eighteen. The overlapping panel structure of the data facilitates the identification of the different components of choice.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3878379
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