The relative importance of adolescent skills and behaviors for adult earnings: A cross-national study
Seeking convergent findings in five data sets from four countries, we assess the relative importance of adolescent skills and behaviors for completed schooling and labor market success in adulthood. We provide a framework for classifying "noncognitive" skills and use data designed by developmental psychologists to provide reliable measures of a variety of achievement and behavioral skills assessed between ages 13 and 16. Results show that adolescent achievement, particularly math achievement, is a stronger predictor of completed schooling than measures of noncognitive skills. Achievement skills also out-predict noncognitive skills with regard to adult earnings, although the differences are not as striking.
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