October 2020

IZA DP No. 13804: Human Capital Development: New Evidence on the Production of Socio-Emotional Skills

Mark Mitchell, Marta Favara, Catherine Porter, Alan Sanchez

We estimate a dynamic model of multidimensional human capital development from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood for a Peruvian cohort born in 1994. We exploit multiple measures of cognitive and socio-emotional skills and a latent factor structure to estimate flexible skills production functions between the ages of 8 and 22. We focus particularly on socio-emotional skill development, and provide the first estimates of such skill production over such a long period in a developing country context. In the last period, when individuals reach adulthood at age 22, we show that socio-emotional skills can be separated into two distinct domains - social skills and task effectiveness skills- which develop differently especially with regard to time use and cross-productivity with cognition. We find that individuals with higher task effectiveness are less likely to have engaged in risky behaviours such as smoking, taking drugs, and engaging with gangs.