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Education, cognitive skills and earnings of males and females

  • Buchner Charlotte
  • Smits Wendy
  • Velden Rolf van der

    (METEOR)

This paper analyzes the relationship between cognitive skills, measured at age 12, and earnings ofmales and females at the age of 35, conditional on their attained educational level. Employing alarge data set that combines a longitudinal school cohort survey with income data from Dutchnational tax files, our findings show that cognitive skills and specifically math skills arerewarded on the labor market, but more for females than for males. The main factor driving thisresult is that cognitive skills appear to be better predictors of schooling outcomes for malesthan for females. Once males have achieved the higher levels of education, they more often chooseprograms with high earning perspectives like economics and engineering, even if their level ofmath skills is relatively low.

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File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:bd9e981d-7537-4449-9993-7ff86f5a6929/datastreams/ASSET1/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 010.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2012010
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  1. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Yves Duhaldeborde & John H. Tyler, 2000. "How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 547-568.
  2. Plug, Erik J. S. & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Hartog, Joop, 1999. "If we knew ability, how would we tax individuals?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 183-211, May.
  3. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
  5. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  7. Guido Heineck & Silke Anger, 2008. "The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 124, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Borghans Lex & Golsteyn Bart H.H. & Heckman James & Humphries John Eric, 2011. "Identification Problems in Personality Psychology," Research Memorandum 025, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  11. Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2010. "Geographic Variation in the Gender Differences in Test Scores," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 95-108, Spring.
  12. Charles Brown & Mary Corcoran, 1996. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 5580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James J. Heckman, 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," NBER Working Papers 17378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  16. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-44, Spring.
  17. John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
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