Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/148554
Authors: 
Humphries, John Eric
Kosse, Fabian
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 876
Abstract: 
Across academic sub-fields such as labor, education, and behavioral economics, the measurement and interpretation of non-cognitive skills varies widely. As a result, it is difficult to compare results on the importance of non-cognitive skills across literatures. Drawing from these literatures, this paper systematically relates various prototypical non-cognitive measures within one data set. Specifically, we estimate and compare several different strategies for measuring non-cognitive skills. For each, we compare their relative effectiveness at predicting educational success and decompose what is being measured into underlying personality traits and economic preferences. We demonstrate that the construction of the non-cognitive factor greatly influences what is actually measured and what conclusions are reached about the role of non-cognitive skills in life outcomes such as educational attainment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that, while sometimes difficult to interpret, factors extracted from self-reported behaviors can have predictive power similar to well established taxonomies, such as the Big Five.
Subjects: 
non-cognitive skills
personality
preferences
educational success
JEL: 
J24
I20
D03
D90
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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