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Labor Outcomes during the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood: The Role of Personality, Cognition, and Shocks in Madagascar

Author

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  • Sahn, David E.

    () (Cornell University)

  • Villa, Kira M.

    () (University of New Mexico)

Abstract

There is growing evidence that noncognitive skills affect economic, behavioral, and demographic outcomes in the developed world. However, little such evidence exists from developing countries. This paper estimates the joint effect of five specific personality traits and cognition on a sequence of labor market outcomes for a sample of Malagasy individuals as they transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Specifically we model these individuals' age of entry into the labor market, labor market sectoral selection, and within sector earnings. The personality traits we examine are the Big Five Personality Traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Additionally, we look at how these traits interact with household-level shocks in determining their labor market entry decisions. We find that personality, as well as cognitive test scores, affect these outcomes of interest, and that their impact on labor supply is, in part, a function of how individuals respond to exogenous shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Sahn, David E. & Villa, Kira M., 2016. "Labor Outcomes during the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood: The Role of Personality, Cognition, and Shocks in Madagascar," IZA Discussion Papers 10359, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10359
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    personality; cognitive; noncognitive; returns to skills; informal sector; formal sector; labor market entry; shocks; Madagascar;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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