Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


JEL Codes

I25, J16, J24, O53

Working Paper Number



A growing literature studies how cognitive and noncognitive skills influence labor market outcomes. This paper examines the relationship between childhood cognitive and noncognitive skills and labor market outcomes, using a rich longitudinal data set from rural China to overcome simultaneity concerns. We find that childhood cognitive skills have strong explanatory power for the wages of adults in their late 20s, even after controlling for years of education. We also find gender differences in the returns to various noncognitive skills, including internalizing and externalizing behavior.

Included in

Economics Commons