IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

It's Not Me, It's You: Social Skills and Human Capital in the Labor and Marriage Markets


  • Laura Turner

    (University of Toronto)

  • Aloysius Siow

    (University of Toronto)

  • Gueorgui Kambourov

    (University of Toronto)


This paper examines the role of social skills, as distinct from standard wage-determining human capital, in determining economic outcomes in labor and marriage markets. Social skill, or social capacity, is understood in our framework as the ability to maintain long-term relationships, whether professional or personal. Using a Mincer-Jovanovic (1981) framework and evidence on job and marital separations from the PSID, we argue that social capacity can be understood as an individual fixed factor affecting the durability of relationships both in the formal work and informal household sectors. We then use merged PSID and O*NET data to develop and estimate a life cycle model of schooling, job search and marriage. The model allows us to examine quantitatively how social capacity affects optimal schooling and occupational decisions, as well as to estimate the joint distribution of social capacity and human capital in the population. Preliminary evidence suggests that social capacity strongly increases the return to education, conditional on an individual's human capital, since it lowers the probability of being fired from "good" jobs that require substantial human interaction, which in turn makes it easier for an individual to climb the career ladder.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Turner & Aloysius Siow & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2013. "It's Not Me, It's You: Social Skills and Human Capital in the Labor and Marriage Markets," 2013 Meeting Papers 1165, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1165

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1165. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.