Inequality in socioemotional skills: a cross-cohort comparison

Document type
Working Paper
Attanasio, Orazio; Blundell, Richard; Conti, Gabriella
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
8 October 2018
IFS Working paper WP18/22
Children and Young People, Families, Education and Skills, Social Policy, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This working paper focuses on an important dimension of human capital, which, so far, has received limited attention: socio-emotional skills. Evidence has shown that gaps in socio-emotional skills emerge at very young ages, and are persistent across the life cycle. However, there is surprisingly little evidence on how inequality in this important dimension of human capital has changed across cohorts. This paper addresses this gap and focuses on the measurement of these skills in two British cohorts: children born in 1970 and children born in 2000. It considers the measurement of socio-emotional skills during early childhood in a variety of contexts. The aim of this paper is to characterise the distribution of socio-emotional skills in these cohorts and compare them. This paper also considers the predictive power of different socio-emotional skills for health and socioeconomic outcomes.

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