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Skill policies for Scotland

Author: James J Heckman; Dimitriy V Masterov
Publisher: Bonn, Germany : IZA, [2004]
Series: Discussion paper (IZA (Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit) : Online), no. 1444.
Edition/Format:   eBook : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This paper argues that skill formation is a life-cycle process and develops the implications of this insight for Scottish social policy. Families are major producers of skills, and a successful policy needs to promote effective families and to supplement failing ones. We present evidence that early disadvantages produce severe later disadvantages that are hard to remedy. We also show that cognitive ability is not  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: James J Heckman; Dimitriy V Masterov
OCLC Number: 59148799
Notes: Title from PDF file as viewed on 4/12/2005.
Details: System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.; Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: Discussion paper (IZA (Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit) : Online), no. 1444.
Responsibility: by James J. Heckman, Dimitriy V. Masterov.

Abstract:

"This paper argues that skill formation is a life-cycle process and develops the implications of this insight for Scottish social policy. Families are major producers of skills, and a successful policy needs to promote effective families and to supplement failing ones. We present evidence that early disadvantages produce severe later disadvantages that are hard to remedy. We also show that cognitive ability is not the only determinant of education, labor market outcomes and pathological behavior like crime. Abilities differ in their malleability over the life-cycle, with noncognitive skills being more malleable at later ages. This has important implications for the design of policy. The gaps in skills and abilities open up early, and schooling merely widens them. Additional university tuition subsidies or improvements in school quality are not warranted by Scottish evidence. Company-sponsored job training yields a higher return for the most able and so this form of investment will exacerbate the gaps it is intended to close. For the same reason, public job training is not likely to help adult workers whose skills are rendered obsolete by skill-biased technological change. Targeted early interventions, however, have proven to be very effective in compensating for the effect of neglect"--Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit web site.

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