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Performance of Young Adults: The Importance of Different Skills

  • Torberg Falch
  • Ole Henning Nyhus
  • Bjarne Strøm

This paper uses teacher assessments at age 16 in Norwegian comprehensive schools to measure different types of skills. While we follow the literature and interpret test scores in Mathematics and Science as proxy for cognitive skills, we use a novel measure for another type of skills: Performance in behavioral and practical subjects. Using individual register data, we find fairly strong and equal effects of the two types of skills on high school graduation probabilities. However, we find that “non-cognitive” skills has a much larger impact than “cognitive” skills on the probability to receive welfare benefits or being inactive (NEET) at age 22, while the findings are the opposite for the probability of college enrollment.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4124.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4124
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  1. John M. Barron & Bradley T. Ewing & Glen R. Waddell, 2000. "The Effects Of High School Athletic Participation On Education And Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 409-421, August.
  2. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
  3. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-97, March.
  5. Brunello, Giorgio & Schlotter, Martin, 2011. "Non Cognitive Skills and Personality Traits: Labour Market Relevance and their Development in Education & Training Systems," IZA Discussion Papers 5743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
  7. Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2010. "Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 751-759, October.
  8. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the effect of personality on male and female earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
  9. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Work Out or Out of Work: The Labor Market Return to Physical Fitness and Leisure Sport Activities," IZA Discussion Papers 4684, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Koedel, Cory & Tyhurst, Eric, 2012. "Math skills and labor-market outcomes: Evidence from a resume-based field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 131-140.
  11. Thomas Cornelißen & Christian Pfeifer, 2007. "The Impact of Participation in Sports on Educational Attainment: New Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 68, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:4:p:1437-1472 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Lindqvist, Erik & Westman, Roine, 2009. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," Working Paper Series 794, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  14. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  15. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  16. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:1:p:313-350 is not listed on IDEAS
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