Working Paper No. 871

The Importance of Cognitive and Social Skills for the Duration of Unemployment

Published: May 5, 2011Pages: 47Keywords: Unemployment duration; Social skills; Noncognitive skills; Cognitive skills; Early skillsJEL-codes: C41; J24; J64

The Importance of Cognitive and Social Skills for the Duration of Unemployment Verena Niepel


This paper studies how cognitive and social skills in childhood are related to the duration of unemployment in adolescence and early adulthood. I estimate a flexible proportional hazard rate model for the probability of making a transition from unemployment to employment during an individual’s first unemployment spell. The analysis is based on British cohort data from the National Child Development Study. Results show that higher cognitive and social skills at the age of 7 are associated with an increased probability of finding employment, even when controlling for educational attainment. For men, these effects are mostly driven by individuals with low social skills. The results are robust to controlling for family background, parenting activities and school characteristics.

EU's Role in Fighting Global Imbalances

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EU's Role in Fighting Global Imbalances (Edward Elgar, 2015), is edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Stockholm University, Moa Mårtensson, Uppsala University,  Lars Oxelheim, IFN and Lund University and Thomas Persson, Uppsala University.The authors – including Magnus henrekson, IFN – address some of the greatest challenges of our time: poverty, protectionism, climate change, and human trafficking. Further reading


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