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The Impact of Non-Cognitive Skills Training on Academic and Non-academic Trajectories: From Childhood to Early Adulthood

Author

Listed:
  • Yann Algan

    (Département d'économie (ECON))

  • Elizabeth Beasley

    (Département d'économie (ECON))

  • Frank Vitaro

    (Université de Montréal (UdeM))

  • Richard Tremblay

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

Non-cognitive skills are closely associated with adult socio-economic success. However, it is unclear whether interventions targeting those skills, rather than cognitive skills, can improve adult outcomes. It is also unclear whether interventions after early childhood can have lasting effects. We show that an intervention focused solely on non-cognitive skills at age 7 can change the lifetime trajectories for children with deficits of non-cognitive skills, increasing self-control and trust in adolescence, improving education achievement, and outcomes in early adulthood such as criminality, education, employment and social capital. We show that improvements in trust and self-control explain much of the impact on education and young adult outcomes, and argue that social skills are an important but neglected aspect of non-cognitive skill development. Using conservative assumptions in a simple framework, we estimate that, as a lower bound, $1 invested in this program yields about $14 in benefits over the lifetime of the participants.

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  • Yann Algan & Elizabeth Beasley & Frank Vitaro & Richard Tremblay, 2014. "The Impact of Non-Cognitive Skills Training on Academic and Non-academic Trajectories: From Childhood to Early Adulthood," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/6s39gt704s9, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/6s39gt704s95upu27ma7s3p6q8
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    Cited by:

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    3. Carter, Jennifer L. & Richards, Marcus & Hotopf, Matthew & Hatch, Stephani L., 2019. "The roles of non-cognitive and cognitive skills in the life course development of adult health inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 190-198.
    4. Wendy Cunningham & Pablo Acosta & Noël Muller, 2016. "Minds and Behaviors at Work," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 24659.
    5. Hofmeyr, Heleen, 2021. "Perseverance, passion and poverty: Examining the association between grit and reading achievement in high-poverty schools in South Africa," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    6. Zlata Bruckauf & Nóirín Hayes & UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, 2017. "Quality of Childcare and Pre-Primary Education: How do we measure it?," Papers inores897, Innocenti Research Briefs.
    7. Guillemette de Larquier & Emmanuelle Marchal, 2020. "Les repères de la sélection à l’embauche et leur évaluation. Une exploration de l’enquête Ofer," Working Papers halshs-02943049, HAL.
    8. Caro, Juan Carlos, 2020. "Parental investments, socioemotional development and nutritional health in Chile," MPRA Paper 98867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Caro, Juan Carlos, 2020. "Child development and obesity prevention: evidence from the Chilean School Meals Program," MPRA Paper 98865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Laura Schmitz, 2022. "Heterogeneous Effects of After-School Care on Child Development," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 2006, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Guillemette de Larquier & Emmanuelle Marchal, 2020. "Les repères de la sélection à l’embauche et leur évaluation - Une exploration de l’enquête Ofer," Working Papers hal-03014040, HAL.
    12. Chen, Lijuan & Guo, Wei & Liu, Miaomiao, 2021. "Childhood migration and work motivation in Adulthood: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 481-490.

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