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Abstract

In recent years there has been an increased appreciation of the predictive power of non-cognitive skills to adult, life outcomes. While these non-cognitive skills include all sorts of personality traits, one aspect of human capital, Intrinsic Capital (IC), has been understudied. IC is the subjective sense of belonging and significance of individuals to their social environments. This thesis demonstrates that IC predicts important life outcomes measured decades later---and that IC matters much more than IQ and personality traits combined. What counts is the subjective perspective of the individual. Even close, significant adults have much diminished predictive power on these outcomes. Since parents are so hugely influential in the formation of IC early on in a child's life, we also considered the effect of parenting styles on life outcomes. Parenting styles---as seen through the eyes of children---show predictive power to important life outcomes decades later. These results motivated our theoretical model to combine both traditional economic aspects with socioemotional ones. This led to some stark predictions which were partly corroborated by data.

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