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The Returns to Non-Cognitive Skills: A Meta-Analysis

Sophie Cabus (), Joanna Napierała and Stephanie Carretero ()
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Sophie Cabus: KU Leuven HIVA

No 2021-06, JRC Working Papers on Labour, Education and Technology from Joint Research Centre

Abstract: This paper discusses the returns to non-cognitive skills based on results of a meta-analysis. The systematic literature review of articles published in the last decade and analysing labour market outcomes and non-cognitive skills allowed us to extract more than 300 estimates linking earnings and non-cognitive skills, most often measured by the Big Five inventory. The results of meta-analysis point to heterogeneity in the estimated signs and significance of a particular non-cognitive skill. We observe that conscientiousness and openness are two personality traits that bring higher earnings, while agreeableness and neuroticism (low emotional stability) are associated with receiving lower earnings. Some gender differences are also observed. Older and female participants seemed to benefit more from programmes targeted at developing non-cognitive skills than younger participants and men. However, there is a positive selection of female participants to enrol to programmes with better prospects (e.g. longer in duration).

Keywords: Big Five; Meta-analysis; Non-cognitive skills; earnings; Programme effectiveness; Returns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa and nep-neu
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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Handle: RePEc:ipt:laedte:202106