Cognitive Skills, Noncognitive Skills, and School-to-Work Transitions in Rural China

46 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2017

See all articles by Paul Glewwe

Paul Glewwe

University of Minnesota - College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences - Department of Applied Economics

Qiuqiong Huang

University of Arkansas

Albert Park

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute; Harvard University - Fairbank Center for East Asian Research

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Abstract

Economists have long recognized the important role of formal schooling and cognitive skills on labor market participation and wages. More recently, increasing attention has turned to the role of personality traits, or noncognitive skills. This study is among the first to examine how both cognitive and noncognitive skills measured in childhood predict educational attainment and early labor market outcomes in a developing country setting. Analyzing longitudinal data on rural children from one of China's poorest provinces, we find that both cognitive and noncognitive skills, measured when children are 9-12, 13-16, and 17-21 years old, are important predictors of whether they remain in school or enter the work force at age 17-21. The predictive power of specific skill variables differ between boys and girls. Conditioning on years of schooling, there is no strong evidence that skills measured in childhood predict wages in the early years of labor market participation.

Keywords: cognitive skills, noncognitive skills, school-to-work transition, schooling, rural China

JEL Classification: I25, J16, J24, O53

Suggested Citation

Glewwe, Paul and Huang, Qiuqiong and Park, Albert Francis, Cognitive Skills, Noncognitive Skills, and School-to-Work Transitions in Rural China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10566, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2923652 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2923652

Paul Glewwe (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

1994 Buford Avenue
Room 231
St. Paul, MN 55108-1995
United States

Qiuqiong Huang

University of Arkansas ( email )

Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Albert Francis Park

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute ( email )

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

Harvard University - Fairbank Center for East Asian Research

1737 Cambridge Street
Coolidge Hall 308
Cambridge, MA 02138

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