Learning a Living

First Results of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey

image of Learning a Living

Based on the Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey conducted in Bermuda, Canada, Italy, Mexico (Nuevo Leon), Norway, and the United States of America in 2003 and 2004, this book presents an initial set of findings that shed new light on the twin processes of skill gain and loss. The book opens with an explanation of the goals and conceptual approach of the survey and comparative profiles of adult skills in participating countries. It then looks at the relationship between education and skills and adult learning and skills. Additional chapters compare the employability of younger and older populations in participating countries, skills and economic outcomes, skills and information and communications technologies, skills and immigration, the effects of parental education on skills, and the effect of skills on health.

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Skills and Economic Outcomes

This chapter examines economic outcomes associated with differences in observed skills. First, the rewards to literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills on labour markets are studied with a structural model that specifies the joint determination of personal earnings, education and cognitive skills. Second, the likelihood of receiving social assistance transfers for individuals at different skill levels is estimated. This latter analysis adjusts for education, age, gender and household income levels. Similarly, findings on the likelihood of earning investment income for respondents at different skill levels are presented.

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