Human Capital Development: New Evidence on the Production of Socio-Emotional Skills

Produced by: 
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Available from: 
October 2020
Paper author(s): 
Mark Mitchell
Marta Favara
Catherine Porter
Alan Sánchez

We estimate a dynamic model of multidimensional human capital development from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood for a Peruvian cohort born in 1994. We exploit multiple measures of cognitive and socio-emotional skills and a latent factor structure to estimate flexible skills production functions between the ages of 8 and 22. We focus particularly on socio-emotional skill development, and provide the first estimates of such skill production over such a long period in a developing country context. In the last period, when individuals reach adulthood at age 22, we show that socio-emotional skills can be separated into two distinct domains - social skills and task effectiveness skills- which develop differently especially with regard to time use and cross-productivity with cognition. We find that individuals with higher task effectiveness are less likely to have engaged in risky behaviours such as smoking, taking drugs, and engaging with gangs.


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