The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment

Reprint No. 2011:3

Author(s): Erik Lindqvist and Roine VestmanYear: 2011 Title: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics Volume (No.): 3 (1) Pages: 101–128
Online article (restrictions may apply)

We use data from the Swedish military enlistment to assess the importance of cognitive and noncognitive ability for labor market outcomes. The measure of noncognitive ability is based on a personal interview conducted by a psychologist. We find strong evidence that men who fare poorly in the labor market—in the sense of unemployment or low annual earnings—lack noncognitive rather than cognitive ability. However, cognitive ability is a stronger predictor of wages for skilled workers and of earnings above the median.

Lindqvist, Erik and Roine Vestman (2011), "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment". American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3(1), 101–128.

Erik Lindqvist


Mob: +46 73 150 4011

Integrating Immigrants into the Nordic Labour Markets

An Overall Perspective


Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden face similar problems of integrating large groups of immigrants, especially low-educated ones from outside the EU, into their labour markets. In this volume, edited by Lars Calmfors, IFN, and Nora Sánchez Gassen in cooperation with researchers from across the Nordic Region analyse how labour market integration of immigrants can be promoted. 

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se