Abstract

Data linking 1972 and 1992 adolescent skill endowments to adult outcomes reveal increasing complementarity between cognitive and social skills. In fact, previously noted growth in demand for cognitive skills affected only individuals with strong endowments of both social and cognitive skills. These findings are corroborated using Census and CPS data matched with Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) job task measures; employment in and earnings premia to occupations requiring high levels of both cognitive and social skill grew substantially compared with occupations that require only one or neither type of skill, and this emerging feature of the labor market has persisted into the new millennium.

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