Handbook of Contemporary Education Economics
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Handbook of Contemporary Education Economics

Edited by Geraint Johnes, Jill Johnes, Tommaso Agasisti and Laura López-Torres

This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the modern economics of education literature, bringing together a series of original contributions by globally renowned experts in their fields. Covering a wide variety of topics, each chapter assesses the most recent research with an emphasis on skills, evaluation and data analytics.
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Chapter 2: Cognitive and socio-emotional abilities

Fernando Saltiel, Miguel Sarzosa and Sergio Urzúa


Abilities matter. This chapter reviews the nature of cognitive and socio-emotional abilities and examines their importance in the development of successful lives. The text highlights the evidence documenting the causal association between abilities and labour market outcomes. It introduces an occupational tasks framework and shows how the interaction of abilities, skills and tasks is important for understanding labour market disparities. It concludes with policy recommendations based on interventions aimed at improving skills and future avenues for this research agenda.

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