The Impact of Sustained Attention on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Ghana

17 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019

See all articles by Chih Ming Tan

Chih Ming Tan

University of North Dakota - College of Business & Public Administration - Department of Economics

Dhanushka Thamarapani

California State University, Chico

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Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

In this paper, we go beyond traditional measures of cognitive abilities (IQ) in explaining labor market and social outcomes in developing countries. We exploit a rich dataset from Ghana that provides information on demographics, labor market outcomes, and a direct measure of cognitive ability along with other test scores to construct a measure of sustained attention. Our work is therefore related to the broader literature in psychology on the importance of executive function on individual behavior and outcomes. We find that, at least for the case of Ghana, after controlling for IQ and other covariates, higher levels of sustained attention are associated with higher educational attainment and a higher likelihood of being employed in a white‐collar job.

Keywords: cognitive and noncognitive abilities, education, executive function, Ghana, occupational choice

Suggested Citation

Tan, Chih Ming and Thamarapani, Dhanushka, The Impact of Sustained Attention on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Ghana (February 2019). Review of Development Economics, Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 155-171, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3322794 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rode.12553

Chih Ming Tan (Contact Author)

University of North Dakota - College of Business & Public Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

293 Centennial Drive Stop 8369
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8369
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/chihmingtan/home

Dhanushka Thamarapani

California State University, Chico ( email )

400 W 1st Street
Chico, CA 95928
United States

HOME PAGE: http://dthamarapani.com

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