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Assessing Skills for Work: Two Perspectives

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  • Stasz, Cathleen

Abstract

Changes in the nature of work have created demands for new skills and education and training policies to enhance skill development. To successfully accomplish the latter, policymakers must first define and measure skills, then understand how they contribute to economic performance. This paper contrasts two theoretical perspectives for skills measurement: the economic perspective that dominates the policy discussion about skills, and the sociocultural perspective. The paper explores the basic assumptions about skills from each perspective and considers how each addresses different issues concerning skill requirements. It argues that the sociocultural perspective has some advantages over the dominant paradigm. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Stasz, Cathleen, 2001. "Assessing Skills for Work: Two Perspectives," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 385-405, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:53:y:2001:i:3:p:385-405
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Villosio, 2010. "What makes a good candidate? The preferences of HR Managers about new graduated job-seekers," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 69(3), pages 97-118, December.
    2. Adriaan Zon & Roberto Antonietti, 2016. "Education and training in a model of endogenous growth with creative wear-and-tear," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 33(1), pages 35-62, April.
    3. Heijke, Hans & Meng, Christoph & Ris, Catherine, 2003. "Fitting to the job: the role of generic and vocational competencies in adjustment and performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 215-229, April.
    4. Dusya Vera & Mary Crossan & Claus Rerup & Steve Werner, 2014. "‘Thinking Before Acting’ or ‘Acting Before Thinking’: Antecedents of Individual Action Propensity in Work Situations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 603-633, June.
    5. Spitz, Alexandra, 2004. "Are Skill Requirements in the Workplace Rising? Stylized Facts and Evidence on Skill-Biased Technological Change," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-33, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Michael J. Handel & Alexandria Valerio & Maria Laura Sánchez Puerta, 2016. "Accounting for Mismatch in Low- and Middle-Income Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 24906, June.
    7. Teijeiro, Mercedes & Rungo, Paolo & Freire, Mª Jesús, 2013. "Graduate competencies and employability: The impact of matching firms’ needs and personal attainments," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 286-295.
    8. repec:eee:joecag:v:6:y:2015:i:c:p:102-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Anthony Akwesi Owusu & Edward Marfo-Yiadom & Georgina Asi Owusu (Mrs.), 2014. "Undergraduate Competences as Labour Market Mechanism for Curriculum Alignment in Ghana: Case of University of Cape Coast School of Business," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 4(9), pages 27-42, September.
    10. James Heckman & Tim Kautz, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," Working Papers 2013-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    11. Heijke, J.A.M. & Meng, C.M. & Ramaekers, G.W.M., 2002. "An investigation into the role of human capital competences and their pay-off," ROA Research Memorandum 3E, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    12. World Bank, 2010. "Education, Training and Labor Market Outcomes for Youth in Indonesia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2914, The World Bank.
    13. Robert I. Lerman, 2008. "Widening the Scope of Standards Through Work-Based Learning," Working Papers 2009-05, American University, Department of Economics.
    14. Tim Kautz & James J. Heckman & Ron Diris & Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," NBER Working Papers 20749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Lerman, Robert I., 2013. "Skill Development in Middle Level Occupations: The Role of Apprenticeship Training," IZA Policy Papers 61, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Meng C.M. & Peters Z. & Verhagen A.M.C. & Künn-Nelen A.C., 2013. "Competencies: requirements and acquisition," ROA Report 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    17. Spitz, Alexandra, 2003. "IT Capital, Job Content and Educational Attainment," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    18. Biesma, R.G. & Pavlova, M. & van Merode, G.G. & Groot, W., 2007. "Using conjoint analysis to estimate employers preferences for key competencies of master level Dutch graduates entering the public health field," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 375-386, June.
    19. Todd M. Gabe, 2009. "Knowledge And Earnings," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 439-457.
    20. Fee, Anthony & Gray, Sidney J., 2013. "Transformational learning experiences of international development volunteers in the Asia-Pacific: The case of a multinational NGO," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 196-208.
    21. Guidetti, Giovanni & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2007. "Firm-level training in local economic systems: Complementarities in production and firm innovation strategies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 875-894, December.

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