SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 921
This paper investigates heterogeneous wage effects of non-cognitive skills across the wage distribution. I develop a model of wage determination under uncertainty with respect to individual productivity based on three components (minimum wages, productivity premiums, bargaining premiums). Based on this model, I expect (i) a larger importance and (ii) larger effects of non-cognitive skills for high-wage employees compared to their low-wage counterparts. I test these hypotheses with unconditional quantile regressions using large-scale survey data from Germany, the UK, and Australia. To test the joint explanatory contribution of multiple variables within a quantile-regression framework, I propose a new statistic that quantifies the rise in explanatory power generated by additional explanatory variables. The findings indicate a rising importance as well as increasing effects of certain personality traits (agreeableness, neuroticism and risk taking) across the wage distribution for full-time employed males and females.