Behavioral Inattention and Human Capital Accumulation

49 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2019 Last revised: 25 Oct 2019

Date Written: September 17, 2019


I use data from a standardized test applied to second and eighth graders in rural Peru to show that inability to correctly interpret test scores can affect schooling outcomes persistently. Marginally classifying as “remedial” in second grade math reduces rural males’ eighth grade scores by 0.18 standard deviations, compared to students that obtained marginally higher scores and were classified as “in transition” in second grade. This paper provides novel evidence on the mechanisms at play, showing that results owe to classroom environment and household resource reallocation

Keywords: behavioral inattention, human capital, educational investment

JEL Classification: D83, D91, J24, D12

Suggested Citation

Barron, Manuel, Behavioral Inattention and Human Capital Accumulation (September 17, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Manuel Barron (Contact Author)

Universidad del Pacifico ( email )

Av. Salaverry 2020
Región Metropolitana
Lima 18, Santiago Lima 11

HOME PAGE: http://

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