On the interpretation of non-cognitive skills – What is being measured and why it matters
John Humphries () and
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 136, issue C, 174-185
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 strategy, 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, how it relates to more standard taxonomies 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.
Keywords: Non-cognitive skills; Personality; Preferences; Educational success (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 I20 D03 D90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: On the Interpretation of Non-cognitive Skills: What Is Being Measured and Why It Matters (2016)
Working Paper: On the interpretation of non-cognitive skills – what is being measured and why it matters (2016)
Working Paper: On the Interpretation of Non-Cognitive Skills: What Is Being Measured and Why It Matters (2016)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:174-185
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Neilson, William Stuart
More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().