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Do Non-cognitive Skills Improve in Adulthood? An empirical analysis of the relationship between age and non-cognitive skills (Japanese)

Koichi Kume, Kotaro Tsuru, Shinpei Sano and Kengo Yasui

Discussion Papers (Japanese) from Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)

Abstract: Non-cognitive skills are factors that determine labor market outcomes. Although the importance of pre-school years in acquiring these skills has been emphasized, the question of whether they continue to grow after entering the workforce has not been adequately examined. In psychology, some studies have attempted to understand the relationship between age and non-cognitive skills using cross-sectional data, but they have not been able to control for factors other than age and gender. Therefore, this paper uses individual data from the “Internet Survey on Intergenerational Education and Training, and Cognitive and Non-cognitive Abilities†conducted in 2019 by the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) to test whether age is related to non-cognitive ability even when controlling for factors that would be common in the same age cohort. Specifically, we regressed non-cognitive skills (the Big Five, grit, self-esteem, and locus of control) on age, gender, and factors affecting the cohort (total number of elementary school hours, jobs-to-applicants ratio at graduation, economic index at graduation, and negative shocks to particular generations in employment). The results robustly showed that age was significantly positively related to agreeableness, consciousness, emotional stability, grit, self-esteem, and locus of control, even after controlling for a variety of factors, and that the average level of these non-cognitive abilities increases with age.

Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2023-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-neu
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