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Title: Three essays on human capital : the role and determinants of cognitive and non-cognitive skills
Author: Fiorini, Mario
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 1046
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation analyzes the role and determinants of cognitive and non-cognitive skills. A number of papers have stressed that educational and labor market outcomes are largely pre determined by the cognitive and non-cognitive skills accumulated during early childhood. Some of these papers recommend investing in this type of skills to raise educational enrolment and attainment, to reduce disparities between ethnic groups or to weaken the intergenerational trans mission of socio-economic status. Yet a number of questions are still open: Is early investment in skills always the best option Do cognitive and non-cognitive skills account for most of the intergenerational transmission of socio-economic status What are the most important inputs of these skills The first essay compares the efficiency of two alternative policies aimed at fostering educational enrolment. The results indicate that a direct grant in the form of a tuition subsidy is more efficient than an equally expensive unconditional parental income subsidy given when individuals are still in their childhood. The shift in the cognitive skills distribution following the latter subsidy is too small to generate a large increase in college enrolment. The second essay tests for stochastic monotonicity in intergenerational socio-economic mobility tables. The results provide evidence of monotonicity both unconditional and conditional on educational attainment, cognitive and non-cognitive skills. The third essay shifts the attention to the determinants of these skills, and in particular to the effect of using a computer at home on children's development. The results indicate that time spent on the computer has a positive effect on cognitive skills. For the non-cognitive skills the evidence is more mixed, with the direction of the effect depending on the type of skill and the age of the children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available