Working Paper
Kadeem Noray. Working Paper. “The Labor Market Value of Non-Cognitive Skills”. Current VersionAbstract
In the last half-century, a large academic literature has emerged documenting the empirical re-lationship between non-cognitive skills and labor market outcomes. In this paper, I review thisliterature, putting emphasis on new work in economics. The literature provides overwhelmingevidence that non-cognitive skills (e.g. internal locus of control, social skills, motivation, etc.) are associated with, and likely cause, labor market success. Furthermore, I summarize a grow-ing literature that documents the rising value of non-cognitive skills relative to cognitive skills,especially post 2000, and that, due to the nature technological change, this trend is likely tocontinue. Finally, I document two shortcomings of the literature: (1) no study has successfullyisolated the causal effect of non-cognitive skills training in a developed country and (2) verylittle is known about the value of signaling non-cognitive skills to employers.
David J. Deming and Kadeem Noray. Forthcoming. “Earnings Dynamics, Changing Job Skills, and STEM Careers.” Quarterly Journal of Economics. QJE PreprintAbstract
This paper studies the impact of changing job skills on career earnings dynamics for college graduates. We measure changes in the skill content of occupations between 2007 and 2019 using detailed job descriptions from a near-universe of online job postings. We then develop a simple model where the returns to work experience are a race between on-the-job learning and skill obsolescence. Obsolescence lowers the return to experience, flattening the age-earnings profile in faster-changing careers. We show that the earnings premium for college graduates majoring in technology-intensive subjects such as Computer Science, Engineering and Business declines rapidly, and that these graduates sort out of faster-changing occupations as they gain experience.