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The Impact of Sustained Attention on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Ghana

Listed author(s):
  • Chih Ming Tan

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of North Dakota, USA; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)

  • Dhanushka Thamarapani

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Clark University, USA)

In this paper, we go beyond measures of cognitive abilities (IQ) in explaining labor market and social outcomes in developing countries. We exploit a rich dataset from Ghana that provides information on demographics, labor market outcomes, and a direct measure of cognitive ability along with other test scores to construct a measure of sustained attention. Our work is therefore related to the broader literature in Psychology on the importance of executive function on individual behavior and outcomes. We find that, at least for the case of Ghana, after controlling for IQ and other covariates, higher levels of sustained attention are associated with higher annual income, higher education and a higher likelihood of being employed in a white collar job.

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File URL: http://www.rcea.org/RePEc/pdf/wp15-32.pdf
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Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 15-32.

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Date of creation: Sep 2015
Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:15-32
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  1. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.
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  4. Glewwe, Paul & Huang, Qiuqiong & Park, Albert, 2011. "Cognitive Skills, Non-Cognitive Skills, and the Employment and Wages of Young Adults in Rural China," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103407, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
  6. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
  7. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
  8. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  9. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
  10. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  11. Vogl, Tom S., 2014. "Height, skills, and labor market outcomes in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 84-96.
  12. Brunello, Giorgio & Schlotter, Martin, 2011. "Non Cognitive Skills and Personality Traits: Labour Market Relevance and their Development in Education & Training Systems," IZA Discussion Papers 5743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Glewwe, Paul, 1996. "The relevance of standard estimates of rates of return to schooling for education policy: A critical assessment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 267-290, December.
  14. Ampaabeng, Samuel K. & Tan, Chih Ming, 2013. "The long-term cognitive consequences of early childhood malnutrition: The case of famine in Ghana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1013-1027.
  15. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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