**2 PM**

**Venue:** Aula Kessler, Sociology Building, via Verdi 26 Trento

**Speaker**:

- Gianna Claudia Giannelli, University of Florence

**Discussants:**

- Sergiu Burlacu, University of Trento
- Emanuele Fedeli, University of Trento

*Abstract*

We study the relationship between math attitude and students math scores using data obtained

from PISA 2012 and a 2SLS model. Math attitude is approximated by three subjective measures:

parental attitude, student instrumental motivation and student math anxiety. The presence

of one family member in a math-related career is our instrumental variable. Our working

hypothesis is that parents may ease their children’s approach to math through three channels.

First, parents who are in a math-related career may assert that math is important in terms of

placement in the job market (parental attitude). Second, parents who are in a math-related

career might succeed in transmitting this belief, so that the children - if asked- would assert

that math is an instrument to find a good job (student instrumental motivation). Third, the fact

that parents might appear to be more self-confident and relaxed about math when working in a

math-related career, might help reduce math anxiety in their children (math anxiety). We find

that regardless of the proxy that is used for math attitude, an increase of one standard deviation

increases the student score by at least 40 points, the equivalent of one year of schooling.

KEYWORDS

Parental attitude toward math, Student instrumental motivation, Math anxiety, Math-related

career, Math scores

The paper is co-authored with Chiara Rapallini (IZA, Germany)

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