School of Economics and Finance
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End, London E1 4NS
Institutional Affiliations: Queen Mary University of London and CEPR
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2019||The Economic Value of Breaking Bad: Misbehavior, Schooling and the Labor Market|
with Nicholas W. Papageorge, Victor Ronda: w25602
Prevailing research argues that childhood misbehavior in the classroom is bad for schooling and, presumably, bad for labor market outcomes. In contrast, we argue that some childhood misbehavior represents underlying socio-emotional skills that are valuable in the labor market. We follow work from psychology and categorize observed classroom misbehavior into two underlying latent factors. We then estimate a model of educational attainment and earnings outcomes, allowing the impact of each of the two factors to vary by outcome. We find that one of the factors, labeled in the psychological literature as externalizing behavior (and linked, for example, to aggression), reduces educational attainment yet increases earnings. Unlike most models where socio-emotional skills that increase human capi...