Modeling completion of vocational education: the role of cognitive and noncognitive skills by program type

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This study provides evidence of the importance of cognitive and noncognitive skills to completion of three types of vocational training (VET): education and health, technical, and business. Math and language exam scores constitute the key measures of cognitive skills; teacher-assigned grades the key measure of noncognitive skills. The data consist of two 9-year panels of youth completing compulsory education in Denmark. Estimation of completion proceeds separately by gender and VET type, controlling for selection and right censoring. The authors find that all skills are inversely related to VET enrollment, even controlling for family-specific effects. Estimates for completion vary considerably by program type, demonstrating the methodological importance of distinguishing among different VET courses. Math scores are positively related to certification for all VET tracks, though with very different magnitudes; language skills are inversely related for the nonbusiness tracks; and noncognitive skills appear important primarily for the business track.
Original languageEnglish
JournalB.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

    Research areas

  • Vocational Education, Completion, Retention, Cognitive Skills, Noncognitive Skills, Denmark

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