Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2338467
 


 



How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of Skills


Adrian Hille


German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Jürgen Schupp


German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Institute for Sociology; The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

September 2013

SOEPpaper No. 591

Abstract:     
Despite numerous studies on skill development,we know little about the causal effects of music training on cognitive and non-cognitive skills. This study examines how long-term music training during childhood and youth affects the development of cognitive skills, school grades, personality, time use and ambition using representative data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Our findings suggest that adolescents with music training have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious. These effects do not differ by socio-economic status. Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance. In order to address the non-random selection into music training, we take into account detailed information on parents, which may determine both the decision to pursue music lessons and educational outcomes: socio-economic background, personality, involvement with the child’s school, and taste for the arts. In addition, we control for the predicted probability to give up music before age 17 as well as the adolescent’s secondary school type. We provide evidence that our results are robust to both reverse causality and the existence of partly treated individuals in the control group.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Music, cognitive and non-cognitive skills, educational achievement, SOEP

JEL Classification: I21, J24, Z11

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Date posted: October 11, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Hille, Adrian and Schupp, Jürgen, How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of Skills (September 2013). SOEPpaper No. 591. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2338467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2338467

Contact Information

Adrian Hille (Contact Author)
German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )
Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
Juergen Schupp
German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )
Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, D-10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9238 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9109 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/deutsch/das_institut/mitarbeiter/innen/26652.html?uid=jschupp
Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Institute for Sociology ( email )
Garystr. 55
Berlin, D-14195
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/soziologie/mitarbeiter/b_hochschullehrer/schupp.html
The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=de&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/de/webcontent/personnel/fellows
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