Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/110103
Authors: 
Kassenböhmer, Sonja C.
Schurer, Stefanie
Leung, Felix
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 8874
Abstract: 
Cognitive and non-cognitive skills are important determinants of labor market outcomes, but are often unobserved. We propose a proxy for these skills derived from item non-response information and a procedure to test its validity. Exploiting a unique data-collection feature of an Australian survey, we find that fraction answered on a self-completion questionnaire fulfils all necessary requirements to be a valid proxy for cognitive skills and outperforms alternative proxies derived from paradata. Fraction answered captures a third of the effect of cognitive ability on wages and education. We provide a simple solution to reduce omitted-variable biases by up to 11%.
Subjects: 
paradata
item non-response
proxy-variable approach
cognitive ability
non-cognitive skills
wages
education
JEL: 
J24
C18
C83
I20
J30
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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