Leadership Skills and Wages

IZA Discussion Paper No. 482

54 Pages Posted: 27 May 2002  

Peter Kuhn

University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Catherine J. Weinberger

University of California, Santa Barbara - Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (ISBER)

Date Written: April 2002

Abstract

American business seems to be infatuated with its workers' "leadership" skills. Is there such a thing, and is it rewarded in labor markets? Using the Project Talent, NLS72 and High School and Beyond datasets, we show that men who occupied leadership positions in high school earn more as adults, even when cognitive skills are held constant. The pure leadership-wage effect varies from four percent for a broad definition of leadership in 1971 to twenty-four percent for a narrow definition in 1992, and appears to have increased over time. High-school leaders are more likely to occupy managerial occupations as adults, and leadership skills command a higher wage premium within managerial occupations than other jobs. We find evidence that leadership skill has a component that is determined before high school, but also find evidence that it is "teachable".

Keywords: Education, Leadership, Wages, Ability

JEL Classification: I21, J24, J31

Suggested Citation

Kuhn, Peter and Weinberger, Catherine J., Leadership Skills and Wages (April 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 482. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=310372

Peter J. Kuhn (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics ( email )

North Hall 3036
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
(805) 893-3666 (Phone)
(805) 893-8830 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Catherine J. Weinberger

University of California, Santa Barbara - Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (ISBER) ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA
United States

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