Cornell University

Labor Economics Workshop: Ludger Woessmann

Monday, December 4, 2023 at 11:40am to 12:55pm

Ives Hall, 115
B07 Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich)

Can Patience Account for Subnational Differences in Student Achievement? Regional Analysis with Facebook Interests

(with Eric A. Hanushek, Lavinia Kinne, & Pietro Sancassani)

Abstract: Decisions to invest in human capital depend on people’s time preferences. We show that differences in patience are closely related to substantial subnational differences in educational achievement, leading to new perspectives on longstanding within-country disparities. We use social-media data – Facebook interests – to construct novel regional measures of patience within Italy and the United States. Patience is strongly positively associated with student achievement in both countries, accounting for two-thirds of the achievement variation across Italian regions and one-third across U.S. states. Results also hold for six other countries with more limited regional achievement data.

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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, ILR, ILR School, EconSeminar, EconLabor

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Christine Schmidt


Ludger Woessmann

Speaker Affiliation

University of Munich

Open To

Cornell Economics Community (listserv members)