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Ageing and Skills: A Review and Analysis of Skill Gain and Skill Loss Over the Lifespan and Over Time

  • Richard Desjardins
  • Arne Jonas Warnke

The relationship between ageing and skills is becoming an important policy issue, not least in the context of population ageing. Data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) will potentially add considerably to the understanding of the relationship between ageing and foundation skills. In particular, the fact that data from the 1994-1998 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the 2003-2007 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL) will be linked with PIAAC offers a unique opportunity to examine trends over time at the cohort level for a wide range of countries. Specifically, repeated measures will enable an analysis of whether there is skill gain and skill loss over the lifespan of cohorts and overtime between cohorts. This is especially important because age-skill profiles observed on the basis of a single cross-section are difficult to interpret. With this as a backdrop, this paper has sought to provide an overview of what is known about age-skill profiles and to conduct an analysis that demonstrates how trend data based on repeated cross-sectional observations of direct measures of skill at the cohort level can be used to estimate skill gain and skill loss over the lifespan and over time. La relation entre l’âge et les compétences constitue une problématique de plus en plus importante pour les pouvoirs publics, surtout dans le contexte du vieillissement de la population. Les données collectées dans le cadre du Programme international d’évaluation des compétences des adultes (PIAAC) permettront certainement de mieux comprendre le lien qui existe entre l’âge et les savoirs fondamentaux. Ainsi, le recoupement des résultats de l’Enquête internationale sur la littératie des adultes (IALS) de 1994-1998 et de l’Enquête sur la littératie et les compétences des adultes (ALLS) de 2003-2007 avec ceux du PIAAC permettra de procéder à une analyse chronologique des tendances observées au niveau des cohortes, dans un large éventail de pays. En l’occurrence, des mesures régulières permettront de déterminer si les compétences augmentent ou diminuent tout au long de la vie des cohortes et dans le temps entre les cohortes. Il s’agit d’une avancée capitale dans la mesure où les profils de compétences établis en fonction de l’âge à partir d’une seule coupe transversale sont difficiles à interpréter. Avec ces éléments en toile de fond, le présent document s’efforce de faire le bilan des connaissances actuelles sur les profils de compétences en fonction de l’âge et de mener une analyse qui montre comment les données tendancielles fondées sur des observations transversales régulières de mesures directes des compétences au niveau des cohortes peuvent être utilisées pour évaluer l’acquisition et la perte de compétences tout au long de la vie et dans le temps.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9csvw87ckh-en
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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Education Working Papers with number 72.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:72-en
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