OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Impact of Proficiency on Early Entrants to the Labour Market

Evidence from the YITS

The primary purpose of the report is to explore the impact of PISA reading scores on the early labour market outcomes of young Canadians of the Youth in Transition Survey. This inquiry is complicated by two facts. First, family and school characteristics that are positively correlated with PISA scores are also correlated with labour market success, making it difficult to discover the independent effect of those scores. Second, students with higher PISA scores are much more likely to pursue education beyond high school and scores may operate both directly and indirectly through this channel to influence later outcomes. Among females, there is a positive correlation between PISA scores and future earnings, even after controlling for family background and educational attainment. There is no evidence of such a correlation for males. For both genders, the link between PISA scores and unemployment disappears when controls are added. These weak outcomes may be explained by the fact that sufficient time has not elapsed for the YITS respondents to complete schooling and to integrate into the labour market.


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