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The role of non-cognitive and cognitive skills, behavioural and educational outcomes in accounting for the intergenerational transmission of worklessness

  • Lindsey Macmillan

    ()

    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

Previous work has shown that there is a significant intergenerational correlation of worklessness for the UK which varies across local labour markets (Macmillan, 2011). Using a decomposition from the intergenerational mobility literature (Blanden et. al, 2007), this research is the first to consider the drivers of this transmission. I consider the role of four sets of characteristics of the son in childhood; his non-cognitive skills, cognition, behavioural outcomes and educational attainment, to assess which characteristics are important predictors of later workless spells and whether those characteristics are associated with growing up with a workless father. The wide range of characteristics can only account for 12% of the intergenerational transmission, with the vast majority remaining unaccounted for. While cognition and education dominate the intergenerational transmission of incomes, non-cognitive skills and behavioural outcomes play a more important role in the intergenerational transmission of worklessness. Many of the characteristics considered become increasingly important predictors of future worklessness as the unemployment rate in the local labour market increases. This descriptive analysis suggests that there are benefits to improving the soft skills of the most disadvantaged children, alongside their attainment, to ensure a successful connection with the labour market in adulthood.

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File URL: http://repec.ioe.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp1301.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 13-01.

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Date of creation: 22 Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1301
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
Phone: (44) (0)20 7612 6654. Eliminate (44) and add (0) if calling from inside the UK. Add (44) and eliminate (0) if calling from abroad.
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Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html

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  1. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  2. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey MacMillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0307, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  4. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  6. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Declining Relative Importance of Ability in Predicting Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  7. Lindsey Macmillan, 2011. "Measuring the intergenerational correlation of worklessness," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/278, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Tyra Ekhaugen, 2009. "Extracting the causal component from the intergenerational correlation in unemployment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 97-113, January.
  9. Donal O'Neill; & Olive Sweetman, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain: Evidence from unemployment patterns," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n730997, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  10. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page, 2006. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 729-760, October.
  11. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2009. "Family Income and Education in the Next Generation: Exploring income gradients in education for current cohorts of youth," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/223, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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