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Leadership Skills and Wages

Author

Listed:
  • Kuhn, Peter J.

    () (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Weinberger, Catherine

    () (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract

American business seems to be infatuated with its workers’ “leadership” skills. Is there such a thing, and is it rewarded in labor markets? Using the Project Talent, NLS72 and High School and Beyond datasets, we show that men who occupied leadership positions in high school earn more as adults, even when cognitive skills are held constant. The pure leadership-wage effect varies from four percent for a broad definition of leadership in 1971 to twenty-four percent for a narrow definition in 1992, and appears to have increased over time. High-school leaders are more likely to occupy managerial occupations as adults, and leadership skills command a higher wage premium within managerial occupations than other jobs. We find evidence that leadership skill has a component that is determined before high school, but also find evidence that it is “teachable”.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhn, Peter J. & Weinberger, Catherine, 2002. "Leadership Skills and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 482, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp482
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wages; leadership; education; ability;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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