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ERIC Number: ED530660
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 44
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISBN: ISBN-0-7530-2088-2
ISSN: ISSN-2045-6557
The Value of Basic Skills in the British Labour Market. CEE DP 77
Marcenaro-Gutierrez, Oscar; Vignoles, Anna; De Coulon, Augustin
Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1)
In this paper we evaluate the labour market value of basic skills in the UK, focusing on the wage and employment returns to having better literacy and numeracy skills. We draw on literacy and numeracy assessments undertaken by all cohort members of the UK 1970 British Cohort Study. The data used are very rich and allow us to account for potential ability bias, including as they do early childhood assessments of ability. We find that the literacy and numeracy effects on earnings are over and above any general effect on earnings from a person being more cognitively able. We also assess whether the value of basic skills, in terms of wage returns, has increased over time, using a cross cohort analysis based on the 1958 National Child Development Study cohort and the 1970 British Cohort Study. Our results show that literacy and numeracy skills retained their high value in the labour market over the period 1995-2004, despite numerous policy attempts to increase the supply of basic skills during this period. Appended are: (1) UK Classifications of levels of literacy and numeracy; (2) British Cohort Study 1970--2004 sweep at age 34; (3) Means and Standard errors of the preferred BCS sample (N=3131); and (4) Full specification for Table 2 (main text): The relationship between age 34 basic skills and earnings: men and women. (Contains 12 tables and 31 footnotes.)
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International Adult Literacy Survey