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Non Cognitive Skills and Personality Traits: Labour Market Relevance and their Development in Education & Training Systems

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  • Brunello, Giorgio

    ()
    (University of Padova)

  • Schlotter, Martin

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper reviews the empirical economic literature on the relative importance of non cognitive skills for school and labour market outcomes, with a focus on Europe. There is evidence that high cognitive test scores are likely to result not only from high cognitive skills but also from high motivation and adequate personality traits. This suggests that part of the contribution of cognitive skills to economic growth could be due to personality traits. Across large parts of the literature, there is consensus that non cognitive skills have important effects both on school attainment and on labour market outcomes. These effects might be as important as the effects of cognitive skills. Less consensus exists on the malleability of non cognitive skills, with some arguing that these skills can be altered until the end of teenage years and others claiming that emotional intelligence can be changed at any age. Most of what economists know about the technology of non cognitive skill formation concerns early educational levels, such as preschools and schools. While it is difficult to argue that all relevant skill formation ends before labour market entry, there is scant evidence on the role of the workplace in the maintenance and development of existing skills. Clearly, more research in this area is needed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5743.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5743

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Keywords: non cognitive skills; Europe;

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  1. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Jens Mohrenweiser, 2013. "Which firms train disadvantaged youth?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0087, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  2. Filippin, Antonio & Paccagnella, Marco, 2012. "Family background, self-confidence and economic outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 824-834.
  3. Pablo Ibarrarán & Laura Ripani & Bibiana Taboada & Juan Miguel Villa & Brígida García, 2012. "Life Skills, Employability and Training for Disadvantage Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation Design," IDB Publications 78218, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Torberg Falch & Ole Henning Nyhus & Bjarne Strøm, 2013. "Performance of Young Adults: The Importance of Different Skills," CESifo Working Paper Series 4124, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Martin Schlotter, 2011. "Age at Preschool Entrance and Noncognitive Skills before School - An Instrumental Variable Approach," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 112, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  6. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2012. "Resilience to Economic Shocks and the Long Reach of Childhood Bullying," IZA Discussion Papers 6945, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. World Bank, 2013. "Europe 2020 Romania : Evidence-based Policies for Productivity, Employment, and Skills Enhancement," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16255, The World Bank.
  8. Martin Schlotter, 2012. "Educational Production in Preschools and Schools - Microeconometric Evidence from Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 41, 8.
  9. Krishnan, Pramila & Krutikova, Sofya, 2013. "Non-cognitive skill formation in poor neighbourhoods of urban India," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 68-85.
  10. World Bank, 2012. "In Search of Opportunities : How a More Mobile Workforce Can Propel Ukraine’s Prosperity (Vol. 2 of 2) : Technical Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12287, The World Bank.
  11. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Boyce, Christopher J. & Wood, Alex M., 2011. "Can Money Change Who We Are? Estimating the Effects of Unearned Income on Measures of Incentive-Enhancing Personality Traits," IZA Discussion Papers 6131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Gill, Indermit & Koettl, Johannes & Packard, Truman, 2013. "Full Employment: A Distant Dream for Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Nilhil Jha & Cain Polidano, 2013. "Long-Run Effects of Catholic Schooling on Wages," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n39, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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