Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Content Description

1 online resource (xiv, 237 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Aaron Benavot

Committee Members

Gilbert Valverde


cross-national, education, non-cognitive, return, skills, wage, Wages, Success in business, Soft skills, Educational attainment, Life skills, Prediction of occupational success

Subject Categories

Education Policy | Labor Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Interest in the role of non-cognitive skills on successful life outcomes (such as academic performance) has increased in recent years. Policy makers in many countries have prioritized the learning of non-cognitive skills in the school curriculum and training frameworks. Although studies in labor economics have provided important insights about the impact of non-cognitive skills on earnings (e.g., Lindqvist and Vestman 2011; Heckman, Stixrud, and Urzua 2006), solid evidence about how labor markets produce or facilitate the acquisition of non-cognitive skills in different country settings is lacking. The linkage between education, skills and wages has been at the core discussion of human capital theory since Becker (1964). However, existing studies rarely look at the relative influence of non-cognitive and cognitive skills on earnings keeping in mind differences in educational attainment, socio-demographic and work-related factors.