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Child development and success or failure in the youth labour market

  • Paul Gregg
  • Stephen Machin

In this paper we examine the relationship between childhood factors and subsequent economic and social success or failure as an adult. Unlike many studies which typically have little data on pre-labour market factors (other than schooling or in fewer cases, test scores) we are able to draw upon a whole host of childhood variables from the National Child Development Study, a survey of all people born in a week of March 1958. The results show a strong negative relationship between measures of childhood disadvantage (child-specific and family-based) and economic and social success at ages 16, 23 and 33. An important part (but not all) of this is accounted for by the massively worse educational attainment of those we characterise as experiencing childhood disadvantage. Finally, we uncover an important cross-generational effect as the indicators of childhood disadvantage we consider are negatively and significantly correlated with the cognitive achievement (as measured by test scores) of the children of NCDS cohort members in 1991.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20261/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 20261.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20261
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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Micklewright, John, 1989. "Choice at Sixteen," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 25-39, February.
  2. Susan Harkness, 1996. "The gender earnings gap: evidence from the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 1-36, May.
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