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The relative importance of adolescent skills and behaviors for adult earnings: A cross-national study

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Author Info

  • Kathryn Duckworth

    ()
    (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)

  • Greg J. Duncan

    ()
    (University of California, Irvine, 2056 Education, Mail Code: 5500, Irvine, CA, 92697.)

  • Katja Kokko

    ()
    (Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyvaskyla.)

  • Anna-Liisa Lyyra

    ()
    (Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyvaskyla.)

  • Molly Metzger

    ()
    (Northwestern University, 626 Library Place, Evanston, IL 60208.)

  • Sharon Simonton

    ()
    (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI.)

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    Abstract

    Seeking convergent findings in five data sets from four countries, we assess the relative importance of adolescent skills and behaviors for completed schooling and labor market success in adulthood. We provide a framework for classifying "noncognitive" skills and use data designed by developmental psychologists to provide reliable measures of a variety of achievement and behavioral skills assessed between ages 13 and 16. Results show that adolescent achievement, particularly math achievement, is a stronger predictor of completed schooling than measures of noncognitive skills. Achievement skills also out-predict noncognitive skills with regard to adult earnings, although the differences are not as striking.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 12-03.

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    Date of creation: 28 Jun 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1203

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    Keywords: adolescent skills; adolescent behaviors; adult earnings;

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    1. Thomas DeLeire & Margo Coleman, 2000. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Working Papers 0019, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. Cawley, John & Heckman, James & Vytlacil, Edward, 2001. "Three observations on wages and measured cognitive ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 419-442, September.
    3. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Kuhn, Peter & Weinberger, Catherine, 2003. "Leadership Skills and Wages," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt50q3c9n1, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    5. Green, Francis & Machin, Stephen & Wilkinson, David, 1998. "The Meaning and Determinants of Skills Shortages," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(2), pages 165-87, May.
    6. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-29, October.
    7. Martin Knapp & Derek King & Andrew Healey & Cicely Thomas, 2011. "Economic outcomes in adulthood and their associations with antisocial conduct, attention deficit and anxiety problems in childhood," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38200, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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