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Skills for the 21st century: Findings and policy lessons from the OECD survey of adult skills

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  • John P. Martin

Abstract

The OECD Survey of Adult Skills is the jewel in the crown of its Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This paper argues that the findings and policy lessons from the project to date justify the high hopes which were placed in PIAAC when detailed planning for the project began in 2003. First, it presents a brief recap of PIAAC and its two predecessor international skills surveys. Second, it outlines the main themes which have been investigated to date using data from PIAAC. Third, the main findings and policy lessons drawn from PIAAC are highlighted. Finally, looking forward to the second cycle of PIAAC, for which planning is now underway, the paper suggests some priority areas for improvement to the survey design in order to add to its analytical usefulness and enhance its utility to policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • John P. Martin, 2018. "Skills for the 21st century: Findings and policy lessons from the OECD survey of adult skills," OECD Education Working Papers 166, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:166-en
    DOI: 10.1787/96e69229-en
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wiederhold, Simon & Falck, Oliver & Heimisch, Alexandra, 2015. "Returns to ICT Skills," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112803, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    3. Melanie Arntz & Terry Gregory & Ulrich Zierahn, 2016. "The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A Comparative Analysis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 189, OECD Publishing.
    4. Stijn Broecke & Glenda Quintini & Marieke Vandeweyer, 2018. "Wage Inequality and Cognitive Skills: Reopening the Debate," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth, pages 251-286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Marco Paccagnella, 2015. "Skills and Wage Inequality: Evidence from PIAAC," OECD Education Working Papers 114, OECD Publishing.
    6. Francis Green & Golo Henseke, 2016. "Should governments of OECD countries worry about graduate underemployment?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(4), pages 514-537.
    7. McGuinness, Seamus & Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Redmond, Paul, 2017. "How Useful Is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?," IZA Discussion Papers 10786, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maarten Goos & Melanie Arntz & Ulrich Zierahn & Terry Gregory & Stephanie Carretero Gomez & Ignacio Gonzalez Vazquez & Koen Jonkers, 2019. "The Impact of Technological Innovation on the Future of Work," JRC Working Papers on Labour, Education and Technology 2019-03, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training

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