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The role of non-cognitive and cognitive skills in accounting for the intergenerational transmission of 'top job' status

Author

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  • Claire Tyler

    () (Institute of Education, University College London)

Abstract

Enabling fair access to professional careers is an important strand of UK social mobility policy, however many high status employers demand a wide range of 'soft skills' in addition to strong cognitive skills to identify the best talent which can disadvantage individuals from less privileged backgrounds. This paper uses BCS data to estimate and decompose the intergenerational persistence in top job status to assess the contribution of four potential transmission mechanisms for this advantage: non-cognitive skills, cognitive skills, job aspirations and educational attainment. The results reveal that individuals with parents employed in a top job are 22.8 percentage points more likely to access a top job in adulthood than individuals with parents who are employed in a non top job. Childhood cognitive skills and later educational attainment are found to be particularly important contributors to this transmission of advantage, with childhood non cognitive skills also making a substantial contribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Claire Tyler, 2016. "The role of non-cognitive and cognitive skills in accounting for the intergenerational transmission of 'top job' status," DoQSS Working Papers 16-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1603
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational Occupational Mobility; Non cognitive Skills; Cognitive Skills; Professional Labour Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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