Grit in Georgia

Grit, the idea that passion and perseverance are important determinants of success aside from intelligence, has gained widespread attention in recent years. This stems from the fact that grit is a strong predictor of a number of outcomes like employment and income in life. Previous analysis on this blog suggests that the grit scale is also a strong predictor of employment in Georgia among young people in a select number of rural areas. Whether this works on a nationally representative sample is however an open question. So too is the question what predicts grit in Georgia. This blog uses data from CRRC Georgia’s January 2020 omnibus survey to address these questions.

CRRC Georgia’s omnibus survey contained the full 12 question grit scale. Respondents were asked how much a set of statements described them including things such as “I always finish what I start” and “Failure does not frustrate me.” Items that indicate low grit are reverse coded. In Georgia, the data suggests that the average score is 3.59 out of 5. People score highest on the statement “I am a hardworking person” and lowest on the statement “My interests change from year to year.”

Who reports being grittier in Georgia? A regression that included age, settlement type, sex, and whether or not a person had been internally displaced suggests that people in Tbilisi and IDPs have slightly higher levels of grit, controlling for other factors. In contrast, women and men and people of different ages do not have significantly different levels of grit. Although the analysis showed statistically significant differences between settlement types and IDPs and non-IDPs, the differences are substantively small as depicted on the chart below.

The data also suggest that higher grit scores are associated with a number of achievement related outcomes. When someone’s grit score increases from two to four, their chances of being employed triple, going from 10% to 33%, controlling for other factors. Similarly, the chances that someone has completed higher education increases from 15% to 43% when a person’s grit score increases from two to four. Higher levels of income are also associated with grit.

The above analysis suggests that grit is a good predictor of success in Georgia as it has been shown to be in other locations. However, caution is warranted in suggesting there is a causal relationship at play in the above data. For instance, higher education may help develop grit rather than gritty people being more capable of completing higher education. A similar pattern could be at play when it comes to employment.

Replication code for the data analysis is available here. To find out more about CRRC Georgia’s Omnibus survey, and opportunities to include questions on the survey, click here.


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