Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2015: Ökonomische Entwicklung - Theorie und Politik - Session: Labor - Empirical Studies 2 B16-V3
A growing body of research suggests that, even after controlling for cognitive abilities, personality predicts economic success in later life. The learning environment at school focuses on knowledge and cognitive skills. The transmission of character skills, however, is not at the center of attention. Leisure activities as informal learning activities outside of school may affect the formation of personality. E.g. working while attending school is seen as a stepping stone toward independence and adulthood and can foster important character skills by providing opportunities to promote responsibility and further character skills. However, the channel of the positive influence has not been identified empirically. I suggest that employment during adolescence affects character skills that are known to have a positive effect on labor market outcomes and educational achievements. Employing a flexible strategy involving propensity score matching combined with regression adjustment, I find beneficial effects on character skills. Working while attending secondary school leads to a higher internal locus of control. In addition to promoting character skills, teenage employment improves knowledge on which skills and talents school students have and also the importance of parents' advices with respect to their future career. These results are robust to several model specifications and varying samples and robust to including family-fixed effects.