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Measuring and assessing the impact of basic skills on labour market outcomes

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  • McIntosh, Steven
  • Vignoles, Anna

Abstract

Although there has been a considerable amount of research relating measures of schooling years, qualifications, or training spells to workers' labour market success, there has been very little assessment of the role of more basic literacy and numeracy skills, largely due to problems with measurement and data availability. Yet it is obviously crucial, in an era of apparently rising demand for skills, that we have evidence on the labour market value of the full range of worker skills, including basic literacy and numeracy. This paper therefore uses data from the National Child Development Study and the International Adult Literacy Survey to fill this gap. Specifically, we use test scores achieved by respondents in both surveys to measure their basic literacy and numeracy skills. We then evaluate the impact of these skills on workers' labour market outcomes, and find clear evidence of a substantial wage return to such basic skills. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.
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Suggested Citation

  • McIntosh, Steven & Vignoles, Anna, 2000. "Measuring and assessing the impact of basic skills on labour market outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19557, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19557
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19557/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Weale, Martin, 1992. "Education, externalities, fertility, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1039, The World Bank.
    2. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-789, October.
    3. Dearden, Lorraine, et al, 2002. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 249-274, July.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & Dongwook Kim, 1995. "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
    6. 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 251-266, May.
    7. John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000. "Do the Cognitive Skills of School Dropouts Matter in the Labor Market?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 748-754.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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