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Leadership Skills and Wages

Peter Kuhn () and Catherine Weinberger ()
Additional contact information
Catherine Weinberger: University of California, Santa Barbara

No 482, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: American business seems to be infatuated with its workers’ “leadership” skills. Is there such a thing, and is it rewarded in labor markets? Using the Project Talent, NLS72 and High School and Beyond datasets, we show that men who occupied leadership positions in high school earn more as adults, even when cognitive skills are held constant. The pure leadership-wage effect varies from four percent for a broad definition of leadership in 1971 to twenty-four percent for a narrow definition in 1992, and appears to have increased over time. High-school leaders are more likely to occupy managerial occupations as adults, and leadership skills command a higher wage premium within managerial occupations than other jobs. We find evidence that leadership skill has a component that is determined before high school, but also find evidence that it is “teachable”.

Keywords: wages; leadership; education; ability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
Date: 2002-04
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Published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2005, 23 (3), 395-436

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