July 2010

IZA DP No. 5050: Investing in Our Young People

published in: Arthur Reynolds, Arthur Rolnick, Michelle M. Englund, and Judy A. Temple (eds.), Cost-Effective Programs in Children's First Decade: A Human Capital Integration, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 381-414

This paper reviews the recent literature on the production of skills of young persons. The literature features the multiplicity of skills that explain success in a variety of life outcomes. Noncognitive skills play a fundamental role in successful lives. The dynamics of skill formation reveal the interplay of cognitive and noncognitive skills, and the presence of critical and sensitive periods in the life-cycle. We discuss the optimal timing of investment over the life-cycle.